By Mina Corpuz
AYER -- The Ayer Library is gearing up to help the Boston Bruins collect 15,000 pairs of pajamas for children and teens in need.
Starting February 1, the library will take part in the Bruins' annual pajama drive that benefits Cradles to Crayons, a nonprofit that provides services to children who are homeless or living in low income situations, and the state Department of Children and Families.
"People may not think about including pajamas when they donate clothing," said Ayer children's librarian Christina Zoller in a news release. "PJs give kids a lot of comfort."
At any given time, DCF works with about 45,000 babies, children, and teens, according to the agency.
Pajamas collected from the drive can have a direct impact on children who need support, said Amy Riley, a social service partner from MassSTART.
She worked with a family that recieved pajamas, warm clothes, bedding, and blankets through Cradles to Crayons.
"Mario, his mom and two brothers are living in an apartment that is not heated properly," Riley said in the release. "(The service) allowed Mom to save money and focus on finding a new, better heated apartment."
Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson and his wife, Siw, started the pajama drive in 2011.
Various organizations and libraries from across the state are participating in the pajama drive.
The group that collects the most pajamas could win a street hockey clinic with the team's mascot, Blades. Second place wins a school or library visit by the mascot and third place wins an autographed Bruins item.
The pajama drive runs until March 15. Those who want to donate can drop off new pajamas for babies, children, and teens at a collection box at the library.