The Pillowcase Program
The Pillowcase Program was originally inspired by events during Hurricane Katrina in the US. While evacuating campus, students of a local University used pillowcases to carry their cherished and basic possessions. After hearing this, American Red Cross staff developed the concept of using a pillowcase as an emergency kit. The program quickly grew into a preparedness education program that has since become known as the Pillowcase Program.
Delivered by Red Cross volunteers and staff, the workshop encourages children to be active participants in their own emergency preparedness. The content is useful for all kinds of emergencies and includes activities to highlight the importance of being prepared. Pillowcase helps to reduce real and imagined fears and has successfully built children’s stress management skills.
Aimed at students in Years 3 and 4 (ages 8-10), the one hour workshop involves engaging discussions and interactive activities to help students:
- Understand and discuss the importance of being prepared
- Prepare their mind for the thoughts and feelings that may arise before, during and after an emergency
- know what to pack in an emergency kit
Each student is then given a pillowcase to decorate and take home, to start their own personal emergency kit.