#K10 – World’s Largest Pillowcase Project

Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, will mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The storm destroyed much of the Gulf Coast including Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

In remembrance of those who lost lives, to recognize the resiliency of those who survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and to honor the volunteers who facilitated recovery, the American Red Cross is creating the World’s Largest Pillowcase Project on or before Saturday, Aug. 29.

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.

The Gold Country Region has been educating children in the 24-county region since 2014 and to date we have reached more than 3600 school aged kids!

This 10th anniversary of the devastating hurricane, we will share the message of preparedness one week leading up to August 29th at Prairie Elementary School located in Elk Grove. We will be holding not one, but seven disaster preparedness workshops to increase awareness of this unique children’s project, reinforcing the importance of disaster preparedness planning.

More about The Pillowcase Project

Red Cross 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.

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