American Red Cross Clubs in Essex County have embarked on a new initiative to help bring comfort to children affected by home fires.
On Monday, April 13 students from Red Cross Clubs at Montclair State University, Seton Hall Preparatory School, Liberty Academy and Essex County Youth Council assembled Kids Care Kits to be distributed by Red Cross disaster responders to children following home fires.
“The Kids Care Kits are a new and innovative way to help provide comfort to children affected by homes fires,” said Eileen Painter, manager of Red Cross Volunteer Services, Essex County. “In creating the Kids Care Kits, we were mindful of the emotional needs of children following a home fire.”
The coloring books and crayons help keep children entertained while their family meets with Red Cross disaster responders to receive emergency assistance. Bubbles are included to help promote the deep breathing relaxation technique and the playing cards provide children with an activity that can engage the entire family. Each kit also includes a handwritten letter of encouragement from a youth volunteer who helped assemble the Kids Care Kits.
Kids Care Kits are supported by the fundraising effort of Essex County Red Cross Clubs including those at Bloomfield High School, Cedar Grove High School, Essex County Youth Council, James Caldwell High School, Liberty Academy, Livingston High School, Montclair High School, Seton Hall Preparatory School, West Essex High School, Montclair State University and Rutgers University.
“We are proud of the Red Cross Club volunteers who are helping to lift the spirits of children during a difficult time,” said Painter.
Currently, Essex County Red Cross Clubs have enough supplies to produce 1,000 Kids Care Kits.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year in the United States and the vast majority of those are home fires. Last year, the Red Cross North Jersey Region responded to 494 local home fires, offering comfort to 1,1,30 families and meeting immediate needs such as shelter, food, clothing, referrals and mental health services as needed. Learn how you can help the Red Cross #GiveWhatFireTakes.