Nearly 70 volunteers turned out Saturday at the first Aviva Children’s Services "pajama party." The group of mostly women sewed more than 450 pajama bottoms, which were packaged with T-shirts and books as holiday gifts that will be given to children in the foster care system.

Photo courtesy of Monica Durand

Dozens of sewing machines were humming Saturday as volunteers stitched together more than 450 pajama bottoms, each of which was bundled with a T-shirt and a book as holiday gifts for children in foster care.

The “pajama party” was organized by Aviva Children’s Services, a nonprofit resource provider for children in the foster care system.

Nearly 70 volunteers cut fabric, sewed and ironed pajama bottoms and pillowcases and bundled them with books and T-shirts.

Aviva has a sewing group that makes duffel bags for children to transport their belongings when they are moved from one home to another, but “they wanted a new project,” said Cindy Lingel, coordinator of the Bags for Kids Project. “They said, ‘What can we do besides bags?’ ”

Lingel contacted volunteers from the Tucson Chapter of the American Sewing Guild and the Angel Heart Pajama Project, which distributes pajamas to children in foster care and shelters.

Children who enter the foster care system “show up with hardly anything,” Lingel said. “This is really another way we can let them know people care.”

Volunteers gathered Saturday at The Sabbar Shrine Temple, 450 S. Tucson Blvd., to sew. The group of mostly women made 456 pajama bottoms and 200 pillowcases in six hours.

Volunteers from the Sewing Guild brought 100 completed pairs with them when they arrived Saturday morning. Angel Heart provided new books and T-shirts for the children.

Aviva receives donations of socks, shoes, clothing and toiletries that it distributes to foster children, but the agency does not often receive pajamas, Lingel said.

Contact reporter Kimberly Matas at Tucson.com or 573-4191.