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Kidsday: Pajama Program volunteer

Imagine, you have been abused or abandoned by your parents and you don't even have a bed to call your own. Or perhaps you have lived in an orphanage and you have no one to tuck you in at night. You might find some comfort in a book and a new pair of pajamas.

Through the Pajama Program, volunteers can help those kids.

Do you want to learn more? Well, now you can. In Commack, Danielle Bonfanti runs a Pajama Program chapter. Chapters are located all around the United States.

It was amazing when I went to the Commack office myself a few months ago. It felt so good to give back, and it was fun, too.

While you were there, you would count out a certain number of books and put them into a box. The most fun was taping up the boxes, going through the books and looking at the cute pajamas.

I really hope that you would want to help such a worthy cause. With everyone's help, since 2001 they have given away more than one million PJs and hundreds of thousands of new books. So I know what you're probably thinking right now . . . where do I sign up? Go to pajamaprogram.org.


A Willow Valley Inn getaway

Are you in search of a fun getaway with your family located a short drive from Long Island? Well, I have a place for you. Willow Valley Inn & Suites is in Lancaster County, Pa., and has it all.

Why is it a great place for kids? Well, you can swim, eat great food, play sports or just hang out in the game room.

Willow Valley has two indoor pools, an outdoor pool and an indoor water playground with a little slide for the toddlers and a giant slide for the big kids.

The food is kid-friendly in all of its three restaurants. You have the choice of eating a buffet of different dishes, including dessert or just ordering from the menu. Any kid ordering from the menu gets a token which can be exchanged for a free cookie in the famous bakery. The bakery also has homemade pies, cookies, cakes, jellies and lots of Pennsylvania Dutch goodies.

If you like sports, try out the tennis courts, basketball courts, 9-hole golf course, ping pong or shuffleboard. The game room has air hockey and all the best video games.

During holidays, they host an indoor carnival and a Big Bingo night. The indoor carnival has blow-up slides, obstacle courses and carnival games where you can win prizes. My favorite is the Big Bingo night. I was lucky enough to win the grand prize of a two-night stay for my family at Big Bingo. Willow Valley is a fun getaway for kids (and their families.) I'm addicted to this place and you will be too. Check out their website at willowvalley.com.

--Kidsday Reporter Maggie Flaherty

CLASS OF THE WEEK: Debbie Cain's sixth-grade class, CHATTERTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, Merrick

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