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Project PJs provides cozy sleepwear to nursing home residents

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FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) - We relax in them and sleep too! Pajamas are a cozy clothing item, but not everyone has a pair. One Dekalb County woman is determined to change that. For the past two years, she's been making sure nursing home residents have their own pajamas. WHNT NEWS 19 pays it forward to Lynn Santiago.

For Santiago, this all started in August of 2013.

"I just kept feeling like there was something I needed to do, but I didn't know what," explains Santiago. "So I told God, you've got to let me know.  I don't know."

A few days later, she met a nurse from Crowne Health Care of Fort Payne.

"She said, 'You love people don't you?' I said I do," describes Santiago. "I said, 'Where do you work?' and she said Crowne Health Care and right then it clicked."

Santiago decided to collect pajamas for the nursing home residents. It was an item the nurse said the folks living there really needed. Lynn's strategy was simple.

"I have a big mouth," jokes Santiago. "I'll ask people. I put it on Facebook and asked around. I have a wonderful community, good friends and they made it happen. I have a wonderful group that comes up here with me and helps me out."

The first year, she donated over 120 pajama sets. In 2014, 110 sets were given out. This year, the goal is once again, for every resident to get pajamas for Christmas.

"You can tell they are nice looking," says Santiago, as she showed us some examples of the pajamas she intends to donate. "They're soft and cozy, but it represents love and that they are not forgotten and that people do care about them."

At $1.00 per gift bag and $15 to $20 for pajamas, the cost adds up. However, this year, Project PJs is getting a boost. The $319 brought Santiago to tears.

"Thank you so much!" says Santiago, as she wipes away tears. "They are very happy tears. I appreciate it so much."

Santiago said she couldn't wait to go buy more pajamas with the Pay it Forward money. She and a team of volunteers spend weeks putting everything together and deliver the gift bags about a week before Christmas.