Mar 4, 2016
1 comment

The Sleep Train commercial requesting donations benefiting foster children can really get in your head.

But for a 6-year-old Richmond boy, the commercial’s slogan — “Not everyone can be a foster parent, but anyone can help a foster child” — became a powerful call to help others.

Walt Sutton was recently featured by KTVU (CH-2) for launching a pajama drive for foster children, with help from his mother, father and sister. He has already collected more than 200 pairs of pajamas to donate to Sleep Train’s foster children program. He said he simply wants to make the lives of foster children better, KTVU reported.

He’s gotten pajamas by asking friends and family to gift them to him for his birthday. He’s also launched a gofundme page.

ktvuwalt.3-4For Walt, the spirit of giving was largely inspired by his grandmother, a court-appointed special advocate who volunteers her time with foster children. Meanwhile, the Sleep Train commercial’s slogan kept repeating in his mind as he learned more about people in need.

So for his 5th birthday last year, Walt asked for diapers, toiletries and socks to donate to a nonprofit where his mom once worked. That inspired his sister, Naima, who rather than giving goody bags to friends on her 4th birthday, instead gave Giving Bags filled with toiletries and snacks to give to someone in need.

And for Walt’s 6th birthday, he’s asked for pajamas to donate. His birthday festivities led to the collection of 31 sets of pajamas and two pairs of slippers.

But Walt decided he wanted to help even more kids, so he launched the gofundme account with his goal set at 185 new PJs. He’s already surpassed that goal, and wants to keep going, according to KTVU.

“And if you are so moved, please check out the CASA program,” according to Walt’s gofundme page. “Walt hopes more people will be like his Grammy and give their time and hearts to kids that really need a caring voice in the system.”


  1. Thank you for covering this!! We are proud of both of our children and so glad you highlighted the CASA aspect. It’s so important to Walt!

    Celina Sutton | Mar 5th, 2016

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.