Hurricane Katrina highlighted the need to create better prepared communities. An initiative born in post-Katrina New Orleans, “The Pillowcase Project” of the American Red Cross teaches children how to prepare for emergencies, practice what they have learned, and share their knowledge with family and friends. Through the help of our friends at Disney, each child is given a pillowcase to create their own emergency preparedness kit at home and they are encouraged to decorate their pillowcase. On Aug. 29, 2015, Red Cross Chapters throughout the world will host local Pillowcase Project presentations as the Louisiana Region will host during the New Orleans Citywide Day of Service - creating The World's Largest Pillowcase Project!
In New Orleans, Red Cross volunteers will be hosting Pillowcase Project workshops as part of the Health, Wellness and Opportunity Fairs at six designated service sites throughout the city that were hardest-hit by Katrina. Neighbors are encouraged to stop by and learn more about disaster preparedness in an age-appropriate manner. The Red Cross is pleased to have over 50 New Orleans community partner organizations also joining in this effort by contributing their own decorated pillowcases for this day.
Contact your local Red Cross Chapter for more information on how to get involved in The World's Largest Pillowcase Project on Aug. 29! Be sure to follow #pillowcaseproject #Katrina10 and @redcrossSELA for photos and updates from participating chapters! For questions or more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
More about The Pillowcase Project
New Orleans CEO Kay Wilkins had learned that Loyola University students carried their valuables in pillowcases when they evacuated for Katrina. This inspired Wilkins and her team to work with an art therapist to create a program around decorating pillowcases for the children living in makeshift communities across New Orleans during Katrina recovery. Soon, their Pillowcase Project became a preparedness education program for elementary school students. After just a few years, several other Red Cross chapters adapted and implemented the program with substantial success.
In early 2013, the Walt Disney Company funded the design and development phase of a multi- year effort to build on this success by creating a standardized, state-of-the-art preparedness education program. The Pillowcase Project is now customized for use by Red Cross chapters across the United States and internationally reaching hundreds of thousands of elementary school-aged children in the classroom and in after-school settings.