It was 12 years ago when Pyjama Angel Penni Fyfe stepped into her first foster home feeling anxious, excited and ready to make a difference in a child's life.
It's a feeling more than 600 newly trained Pyjama Angels have every year when they first meet their new little companion, a feat which couldn't be achieved without the vital funds raised through National Pyjama Day on July 20.
The Pyjama Foundation's volunteers or 'Pyjama Angel's' dedicate time every week to encourage, support and empower children in foster care.
But the work involved to get these volunteers trained doesn't come cheap, typically costing the organisation upwards of $500 per volunteer.
Despite the cost, the visible benefits seen in the children make in all worthwhile. This is something Penni can wholeheartedly attest to.
"I think the most rewarding part is getting through to the kids," she said.
Throughout her journey, Penni has mentored four children, each one displaying their own unique challenges.
"The latest little boy has taken me three and a half years to get through to," she said.
"When I first met him, he didn't read all.
"In the last year he has started giving me a hug when I arrive."
This National Pyjama Day you can help The Pyjama Foundation continue training remarkable volunteers like Penni so the lives of little people in care can continue being changed.
Founder of The Pyjama Foundation, Bronwyn Sheehan says the number of foster children is continuing to grow every year and without extra support, empowerment and encouragement, many of the children's futures will be compromised.
"Currently there are more than 55,000 children in foster care, and statistics show that approximately 32,250 of these children will not complete high school," Bronwyn said.￼
"Many children in care bounce from home to home, and to difference schools which greatly hinders their learning."
"At The Pyjama Foundation we screen, train and recruit volunteer mentors, and then carefully match them with a child in care.
"Together, they focus on learning-based activities and games, with the aim of improving the child's educational outcomes and confidence," she said.
Funds raised from the event will go towards the recruitment and training of more Pyjama Angels as well as learning resources for the children including books, puzzles and educational games.
Last year more than 1,700 participants donned their Pyjamas and raised a total $250,000, a target the Foundation hopes to increase this year.
To get involved, register your workplace, school or group at www.nationalpyjamaday.com.
Upon your registration, you will receive a free host kit including balloons, bunting, posters and more.