Hi! I’m Alison M. Ormaas, President and Founder of Project Sweet Dreams and here’s our story. I was a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for foster children in our community for several years and know first-hand that Kids Kottage, Reno’s emergency children’s shelter, is always in need of clothes for the children they serve. In 2014, when I was training for my Red Belt in martial arts and one of my requirements was to organize and develop a community service project that would have a positive impact in our community, I knew that I wanted my project to focus on the children at Kids Kottage.
I decided to focus on pajamas because they are cozy and can make kids feel safe and warm, even in the most difficult of times. I say “Sweet Dreams, Sweet Love” to my kids every night at bedtime, so it was important to me to incorporate this sentiment into the name of my project and “Project Sweet Dreams” was born! My goal was to collect 50 pairs of new and gently used pajamas to donate to Kids Kottage. However, with the amazing support of the local community, Project Sweet Dreams donated 235 pairs of pajamas to Kids Kottage in May 2014.
In 2015, I was no longer able to continue my martial arts training; however, my kids (Alex & Jake) asked me if we were going to collect pajamas for the kids at Kids Kottage again and I realized that Project Sweet Dreams had become more than a belt requirement—it was my new passion and a wonderful way in which to involve my children in philanthropy at a young age. That year, Alex & Jake even decided to request pajamas for Project Sweet Dreams in lieu of birthday presents (they collected 50 pairs!) and in May 2015, Project Sweet Dreams donated nearly 500 pairs of pajamas to Kids Kottage!
In January 2016, I made the decision to incorporate into a non-profit organization so that we can have an even bigger impact in our community. We are now able to collect pajamas all year long and are proud to donate pajamas to additional organizations that serve children in need so that we can help even more children in Northern Nevada.