VIRGINIA BEACH -- Parents often teach their children lessons in life to make them better people.
What happened at Erika Tucker's house one Christmas turned out to be a life-altering lesson for her kids and a gift to thousands of others in Hampton Roads.
"One year when they were opening their gifts, they complained," Erika said.
"I didn't say anything because I was disappointed," her daughter Olivia recalls.
Same for Erika's son, Logan. But that's when Erika had an idea.
"It made me feel sad that my kids were so ungrateful, so I turned it into a lesson," Erika said.
That lesson was to help collect old pairs of pajamas, wash them and donate them to needy families. Out of that, "Pajama Jams" was born.
Erika's organization collects pajamas and gives them to charities, which distribute them to kids in need. "Pajama Jams" has benefited 4,000 children in our area. Erika seeks out donations from friends, schools and area businesses, and she raises awareness at community functions.
And now, her initial sadness has turned to pride, and her children have learned a valuable lesson. They're also proud of their mom.
"She started a charity from scratch," Logan said. "I've learned to be more thankful for what you have."
"She helps the community and teaches me to help others," Olivia said.
"It makes me feel good that I've been able to lead by example," Erika said. "We're not changing the world, it's just one pair of pajamas at a time. It feels really good and makes me realize we have a lot of people who support us."
Pajama Jams has a big effort coming up in December called "Pajama Jams for the Holidays." They have drop-off locations throughout Hampton Roads.