The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ)
Hamilton twins turn birthday into charity event
Lauren and Mackenzie have channeled their humanitarian initiative into the formation of Lala & Mimi’s Pajama Project, a 501 (c) nonprofit founded earlier this year that collects new sets of pajamas and distributes them to Mercer County’s homeless or foste
HAMILTON >> At 10 years old, twin sisters Lauren and Mackenzie Multari are doing big things.
The Morgan Elementary fourth-graders have redefined the traditional children’s birthday party, turning a typical gift-laden extravaganza into an annual charity where they collect new pajamas for youngsters in need.
Lauren and Mackenzie have channeled their humanitarian initiative into the formation of Lala & Mimi’s Pajama Project, a 501 (c) nonprofit founded earlier this year that collects new sets of pajamas and distributes them to Mercer County’s homeless or foster chil-
“Some of these foster kids or homeless kids have never had pajamas,. “I think it is something many people take for granted.” — Jaime Multari, mother of Lauren and Mackenzie
dren through organizations like HomeFront.
“Some of these foster kids or homeless kids have never had pajamas,” said Jaime Multari, 39, of Hamilton, mother of the twin girls. “I think it is something many people take for granted.”
Morgan Elementary held a Pajama Day last month, which encouraged students to come to school dressed in jammies and donate a new pair of PJs. Lauren and Mackenzie Multari asked their classmates to chip in, but their bigger focus was on their annual birthday-charity bash held at their Mercerville-area home June 6.
“It just happens to be the party that everybody can’t wait for,” Multari said.
It all started five years ago in June 2010 when Multari challenged her daughters to think of an item they need that they would likely never receive as a birthday gift. The girls anticipated they would receive toys or dolls — the typical gifts a kid gets at a birthday party — but they figured they would not receive pajamas, even though PJs are useful if not essential.
That established the theme of their 2010 birthday party into a pajama charity collection, resulting in the girls collecting 93 new pairs of jammies, according to Multari. From there, the event became an annual tradition, growing so much each year that the twins decided to launch their nonprofit. The organi- zation has already collected about 700 new pairs of pajamas this year for needy people under 18, Multari said.
Of course, the 10-yearolds are too young to be board members on the nonprofit, but Multari said her girls “are the founders.”
Always held during the first Saturday of June, the birthday-charity party is a local event specific to the family of Lauren and Mackenzie and their classmates. While collecting pajamas is the theme, “We hire lifeguards, and we just let the kids have a good time,” Multari said.
Lala & Mimi’s Pajama Project is named after Lauren and Mackenzie. It is a reference to the baby names they used to call each other when they were first learning how to speak. The organization has a Facebook profile at www.facebook.com/LMpjproject.