Angel Heart Pajama Project

Providing Comfort for Kids in Need

“Look what I got” shouted Tucson first-grader Angelica as she opened her package that contained a cozy new pair of pajamas and book. “This is for me?” she yelled as she smiled from ear to ear.

Angel Heart Pajama Project is the vision of the late Graciela Lopez, mother of the co-founders, Maria Patterson and Marty Croissant. In 1963, these three Cuban-born women immigrated to the United States to escape from political, religious, and economic distress. During their early years adjusting to a new language and culture, Graciela found the means to provide new pajamas and books to enrich her children’s lives.

Today, a decade later, her vision has blossomed into an esteemed nonprofit entity, Angel Heart Pajama Project, which continues to gift new pajamas and books to needy children. Lopez and her daughters were able to realize their dream of “paying it forward” by sharing with children in need the same gift that had brought them such joy and comfort when they were young.

Angel Heart Pajama Project’s mission is “to provide new pajamas and books to children who are living in foster care homes, homeless shelters, abused or neglected, seriously ill, living in poverty, with special needs or a refugee in the City of Tucson, South Tucson, and in surrounding Cochise, Pinal, Santa Cruz, and Yuma counties in Southern Arizona.”

Since 2013, Angel Heart has provided more than 55,000 children with new pajamas and new books. The children served range in ages from infant to 18 who represent 86% Hispanic, 5% African American, 7% Native American and 2% other.

Angel Heart, as the premier go-to resource in Southern Arizona for providing needy children with pajamas and books, conducts pajama drives organized and sponsored by local businesses, schools, and churches. The organization actively engages with local communities, collaborating with schools, shelters, and social service agencies to identify and support children in need. Over 150 dedicated volunteers collect, sort, assemble, and distribute new pajamas and books to 85 local partner agencies to distribute the pajamas and books on behalf of Angel Heart.

Every child deserves a nurturing environment where they feel safe, loved, and cherished. However, for numerous children in our community, this fundamental right is denied, leaving them exposed to the harsh realities of poverty and deprivation. Angel Heart seeks to address the critical needs of these children by focusing on two essential elements: providing cozy pajamas and engaging books.

Angel Heart has demonstrated a profound impact on the lives of children and communities it serves by:

  • Providing warmth and comfort to impact bedtime and the ability to have a restful sleep.
  • Fostering a love for reading promoting literacy, intellectual growth and emotional and social development.
  • Empowering children by boosting their self-esteem to instill in them a sense of worth and belonging due to children being more relaxed and content at bedtime, leading to more peaceful nights.
  • Strengthening the community by helping to break the cycle of poverty by fostering relationships among children, caregivers, and volunteers to build a stronger sense of community.

“We are immensely grateful to our volunteers, donors, and partners who have made the last 10 years possible,” said Executive Director, Patty Lopez. “It’s inspiring to see how our community has come together to make a positive difference in the lives of these children. We are excited to celebrate this 10-year milestone and look forward to the continued impact we can make in children’s lives for years to come.”

For more information or to volunteer, visit