American Red Cross and Disney Help Children Prepare for Disaster
The Red Cross and Disney both recognize the importance of disaster preparedness—that’s why the two organizations partnered to create a disaster education program that helps children prepare for disasters. This past September marked the three-year anniversary of the Red Cross’ Pillowcase Project, which has benefited roughly a half-million students throughout the nation, and, according to the American Red Cross, the program has helped to save the lives of six individuals.
The project, which features after-school programs and summer camps, teaches 3rd and 5th grade-level students how to create their own emergency supply kits, therefore helping these children to effectively prepare for disasters. Each child that participates in the program fills a pillowcase with essential supplies (the idea is that pillowcases allow for easy transport), and children are encouraged to personalize their pillowcase kits. For the last three years, The Walt Disney Corporation has sponsored the program, and helped project coordinators with expanding the project’s outreach across the U.S. The Pillowcase Project is founded around three key concepts: learn, practice, and share. Students learn the fundamentals of disaster preparedness, they practice what they learned in the program, and then they share what they’ve learned with family and friends. The Project was originally founded in New Orleans: the Red Cross was inspired to create the program after learning that college students in New Orleans carried their belongings in pillowcases following Hurricane Katrina.
Disaster preparation is extremely important, especially for children. By creating the Pillowcase Project, the Red Cross and Disney are not only helping children to prepare for disasters, but they’re also helping those children’s families and friends to also prepare as well. Preparation, as noted, is critical. However, disaster can sometimes strike suddenly, catching families by surprise. When this occurs, entire communities can suffer shortages of key supplies like hygiene products and baby items. That’s why Good360 created DisasterRecovery360, a digital platform that allows nonprofits to create real-time lists of the specific products they require to assist disaster victims with getting back on their feet. Read more about Disaster Recovery 360 here.