Today’s episode is perfect for Thanksgiving — a story about kindness, love, and the power of giving. In this episode of Before IT Happened, our host Donna Loughlin talks to author, speaker, and advocate Genevieve Piturro. After a 12-year career as a corporate climber in New York City, Genevieve started visiting shelters to read to children. Soon she realized something, these children needed pajamas. Since 2001, Genevieve’s nonprofit Pajama Program has given over 7 million books and pajamas to children in need in the US. This is a story about finding purpose and getting to that aha moment that can change your life. Listen now to learn how this one-time corporate executive turned her life around after discovering the power behind the love and comfort behind a pair of pajamas.
Before any world-changing innovation, there was a moment, an event, a realization that sparked the idea before it happened. This is a podcast about that moment — about that idea. Before IT Happened takes you on a journey with the innovators who imagined — and are still imagining — our future. Join host Donna Loughlin as her guests tell their stories of how they brought their visions to life.
JUMP STRAIGHT INTO:
(01:24) - Leaving the nest with traditional Italian-American parents - “Mary Tyler Moore was what really cemented being a corporate girl. I wanted what she had. She was making her way in a big city. For her it was Minneapolis, for me it was New York.”
(07:35) - Diving into the radio & TV industry - “The TV people were coming in and they were always wondering, ‘What are you doing overnight?’ I told them about my TV aspirations and I got hired.”
(10:37) - A great 12-year corporate career and the ‘Aha!’ moment - “I heard a question asked by me to me: ‘If this is the next 30 years of your life is this enough?’”
(17:17) - The beginning of the pajama program - “Maybe it's like a mom feeling when they have little ones and can't wait to get back from work to spend time with them.”
(22:42) - Giving up a corporate career for a new passion - “I would have been fired if I didn't finally leave. I just couldn't say no to the request to visit and to bring pajamas. And I had to leave early because I had to go shopping.”
(28:11) - Taking the pajama program to the next level - “The woman said, ‘I'm so-and-so from the Oprah Winfrey show. Do you have a minute?’ And half of me was screaming up and down.”
(34:49) - Genevieve’s book: Purpose, Passion and Pajamas - “I've learned it's not the power of one that changes things. It's the power of one another that moves mountains and moves people. And that's what I want to share.”
Learn more about the Pajama Program
Get Genevieve’s book: Purpose, Passion, and Pajamas by Genevieve M Piturro
Watch Genevieve’s Tedx Talk: 1 Story + The Human Connection = 7 Million Pajamas and Books
Before IT Happened is produced by Donna Loughlin and StudioPod Media with additional editing and sound design by Nodalab. The Executive Producer is Katie Sunku Wood and all episodes are written by Jack Buehrer.