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Why people around the nation sent pajamas to D.C. and why it matters

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Posted at 5:01 PM, Dec 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-26 17:01:38-05

Far from the North Pole, each year a police caravan makes a special delivery just in time for Christmas.

Inside the boxes are pajamas hundreds of them, all for D.C. area foster children.

“When kids come into foster care they have nothing,” said foster mother Kathy Jackson.  They come in with the clothes on their back.”

“Child and family services, they're great at getting clothes and jackets and shoes and stuff but even they'll admit that they don't, they hadn't had pajamas, they hadn't really thought of it,” she added.

But Jackson did and that's why this time of year, she's known as the pajama lady.

“Most people grow up with pajamas as part of their Christmas tradition and I like the idea of passing that down.”

She launched the D.C. holiday pajama drive in 2010, after a grueling year battling leukemia, and finding her own comfort in pajamas.

“I spent a total of 12 weeks in the hospital and for those 12 weeks the only thing that I could wear was pajamas.”

Jackson wanted to make that year's Christmas extra special for her three adopted, foster children they came to her home years earlier with trash bags full of clothes that didn't fit and she remembered how excited her youngest, Tyler was when he got his first pair of pajamas.

From 352 pairs that first year, the drive has snowballed into its fourth year, and last year they ended up with over 1,500.

This year she expects even more, with sets from all 50 states.

Jackson said it's her way of fostering as many children as possible.

“You know it's overwhelming because you just know that, people care,” she said, “that these kids matter.”