On Wednesday, October 30, 2019, the Red Cross of South Carolina welcomed the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, and the Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence, to South Carolina.
Both the First and Second Lady visited Lambs Elementary School, in North Charleston, to take part in a Pillowcase Project presentation. The program was presented to 5th grade students Wednesday morning.
The Pillowcase Project was created by the American Red Cross Southeast Louisiana Chapter and implemented in New Orleans schools following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In 2013, Disney sponsored the design and development phase of a multi-year effort to build on the success of the program by creating a standardized, state-of-the-art preparedness education program. As a result, The Pillowcase Project can now be customized for use by Red Cross chapters across the country.
The goal of the project is to create a generation of children who understand the science of hazards, are empowered to take action by practicing how to prepare for emergencies, and understand that by sharing what they learn, they can help create a better prepared community. Learn more about The Pillowcase Project here.
On Wednesday, the First and Second Lady of The United States helped the students decorate their pillowcases and helped educate the students about the importance of preparing for disasters. Red Cross of South Carolina team members lead the presentation and helped the students create disaster safety plans, list of items needed in their emergency kits and answered any questions the students asked.
“I am going home today and going to talk to my mom about the fact that we need a plan for emergencies. I want to make sure we check our smoke alarms as well so nothing bad happens,” said Gia Weiters, a 5th Grade student at Lambs Elementary School.
The program is in its 6th year in South Carolina and the goal for the 2019 fiscal year is to reach approximately 3,500 youth through this program. On a national level, the Red Cross hopes to reach approximately 225,000 youth through this preparedness program.
“Children are particularly vulnerable and at a high risk of being hurt during disasters, which is why we offer programs like The Pillowcase Project. Adults can also help reduce this risk by talking to children about what to do during emergencies and taking preparedness actions as a household, like making a plan,” said Louise Welch-Williams the Regional CEO from the Red Cross of South Carolina. “The hands-on activities will also help to build confidence so that kids are prepared to take action during an emergency and teach others how to as well.”
Over 1.4 million youth have participated in this program across the country since 2014.
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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.