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American Red Cross Teaching Local Children Preparedness Skills on 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

CHICAGO, IL (Aug. 24, 2015) — The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois is teaching local children preparedness skills as part of the World’s Largest Pillowcase Project taking place across the country on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Saturday, Aug. 29 at 10:00 a.m. at Robert Morris University, located at 401 S. State Street.


Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, affecting millions of people. Many children were traumatized by their memories of the storm’s fury so the American Red Cross developed a program using something as simple as a pillowcase to help children feel safer and more prepared for a disaster.


“In the last ten years, the Pillowcase Project has helped thousands of children learn to cope during emergencies from hurricanes to home fires,” said Fran Edwardson, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. “It all started with a pillowcase and an idea to help children in New Orleans, and has since expanded to hundreds of communities across the country, including the Chicago region, where we’re teaching 8,000 local youth preparedness skills this year.”


Through the Pillowcase Project, a free Red Cross program sponsored by Disney, children in grades three through five learn how weather hazards occur and build and emergency kit. They also learn how to develop a way to contact household members in an emergency situation, how to develop fire escape plans and emergency contact cards, and the importance of sharing what they learn with members of their household so everyone can be prepared.


Children learn how to create their own emergency supply kit by packing essential items in a pillowcase which is easy to carry in an emergency. They can decorate and personalize their pillowcase and each child receives a “My Preparedness Workbook” and a certificate of completion at the end of their training.


The World’s Largest Pillowcase Project is Aug. 29 on the 10-year anniversary of Katrina. Red Cross chapters across the country are holding Pillowcase Project events to help children and their families learn the importance of being prepared for emergencies.


American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois Pillowcase Project

Aug. 29 from 10a.m. to 11a.m. at Robert Morris University, Illinois Campus, 401 S. State St. in Chicago.


Each child’s emergency supply kit is free of charge to make. An official American Red Cross pillowcase, art supplies and American Red Cross “My Preparedness Workbook” are provided.


About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.