The Pillowcase Project is a preparedness education program for children in grades 3 – 5, which teaches students about personal and family preparedness, local hazards, and basic coping skills. Generally given as a 60 minute presentation by Red Cross volunteers, the program leads students through a “learn, practice, share” framework to engage them in disaster preparedness. Students receive a sturdy pillowcase upon completion of the program in which they are encouraged to build their personal emergency supplies kit. Presentations are customized to focus on a hazard that is important and relevant to the local community.
The New Orleans chapter originally developed the project after Hurricane Katrina. The program, currently sponsored by Disney, was standardized and updated in 2013 and pilot tested in several Red Cross regions. The Pillowcase Project has now been expanded to include 60 Red Cross regions implementing the pilot in 2014, covering most states in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico. The Global Disaster Preparedness Center is also working with Disney support to expand the program internationally in 2014, pilot testing international implementation in 6 countries.
Pillowcase Project presentations are currently being scheduled and given in schools, after-school programs, Girl and Boy Scout troop meetings, and at a variety of other sites and events across the country. If you are interested in learning more, becoming a presenter, or in scheduling a presentation near you, please contact your local Red Cross chapter.