The American Red Cross has received a $1.066 million AmeriCorps grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to support AmeriCorps members to help the Red Cross teach both children and adults in 15 states about home fire safety and being prepared for emergencies.
Through this generous grant, 80 AmeriCorps members will teach 60,000 youth about fire safety and emergency preparedness through The Pillowcase Project. Sponsored by Disney, The Pillowcase Project is a Red Cross program that teaches students in grades 3 to 5 about personal and family preparedness, local hazards and how to cope. Upon completion of the program, students receive a pillowcase in which to build their personal emergency supply kit.
The AmeriCorps members will also teach as many as 20,000 adults about home fire safety through the Home Fire Campaign, a five-year effort to reduce the number of deaths and injuries in the United States related to home fires by 25 percent. Working with fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross is installing 2.5 million free home smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires and teaching residents about fire prevention and preparedness.
“We are thrilled with this outstanding support from the Corporation for National and Community Service,” said Harvey Johnson, senior vice president, Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services. “This grant will support two critical projects that have already helped to save lives and will now be able to reach even more children and households, teaching people about preparedness and fire prevention.”
10 of the 80 Red Cross Corps members will focus on serving veteran and military families.
“Knowing the AmeriCorps members in those 15 states will also be improving the lives of military and veteran families will be of great comfort to those currently serving far from home,” said Koby Langley, senior vice president, Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces. “Having served with great Americans on foreign soil, I know that being prepared is a part of military life, and there is no better way to help others better prepare on the home front than helping their families avoid the disaster and tragedy that happen to so many due to home fires.”
“AmeriCorps members make a powerful impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps. “As they serve others, AmeriCorps members will also expand opportunity for themselves - gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers. We congratulate the Red Cross for their strong application, and thank all AmeriCorps members for their service.”
This grant will support AmeriCorps members in Red Cross offices across 15 states including California, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, New York, Maryland, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, Massachusetts, Alabama and Texas.
Since the Home Fire Campaign began in October of 2014, more than 407,000 smoke alarms have already been installed in homes all across the country and more than half a million youth have learned how to be safer during an emergency.
AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based and community organizations at more than 21,000 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.
Since 1994, 980,000 AmeriCorps members have given more than 1.3 billion hours of service to their country. Later this year, the one millionth AmeriCorps member will take the AmeriCorps pledge, committing to "get things done" for America.
About the American Red Cross:
AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, and the Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov.