The Pillowcase Project — Learn. Practice. Share.

The Pillowcase Project was created by the American Red Cross’s Southeast Louisiana Chapter and implemented in New Orleans schools following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. New Orleans CEO, Kay Wilkins, had learned that Loyola University students carried their valuables in pillowcases when they were evacuated for Katrina. This inspired Wilkins and her team to work with an art therapist to create a program in which children living in makeshift communities across New Orleans during Katrina recovery decorated pillowcases to hold their belongings. Soon, their Pillowcase Project became a preparedness education program for elementary school students, and in just a few years had been adapted and implemented by several other Red Cross chapters 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. As a result, the Pillowcase Project can now be customized for use by Red Cross chapters across the United States.

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 have learned with family and friends, they can help create a prepared community.

The Pillowcase Project is a multi-year effort that aims to:
• Increase youth awareness of hazards and the importance of personal preparedness
• Build skills in hazard-specific protective actions to reduce the impact of emergencies on youth and their families
• Increase coping skills to manage emergencies and build resilience in youth
• Increase household preparedness levels
• Incorporate preparedness education into the elementary school curriculum

IMG_0202.JPGLearning Objectives:
Students who participate in The Pillowcase Project will be able to:
• Increase youth awareness of hazards and the importance of personal preparedness
• Use their knowledge to act as advocates for emergency preparedness in their homes and communities
• Identify the best ways to stay safe during emergencies that occur in their region
• Use coping skills to help manage stress during emergencies and in every day situations
• Gain confidence in their abilities to be prepared for emergencies through hands-on activities
• Create an enhanced sense of community through collaborative preparedness activities
• Discuss the role science plays in emergency preparedness
• Understand and communicate the work of the Red Cross in their community

To learn more about the Pillow Case Project check out the segment on Oshkosh Today!

To sign up to be a volunteer click here.

To have a presenter come to your school or group contact Bob Mayer, Disaster Program Specialist at or 920-227-4281.

Hats Off to Each of the One Million Volunteers!

Disney’s Give  A Day Get A Day has Closed!

We’ve reached our goal of inspiring one million people to volunteer a day of service to their communities, so the “Give a Day. Get a Disney Day.” program has now ended. Well, we knew it would happen, but didn’t expect it to happen this quickly!  Disney’s Give a Day, Get a Disney Day program has officially closed.  It has only been 2 months.

One million people have volunteered (or signed up to volunteer) and received vouchers for a theme park ticket, a special fastpass, an EarHat figurine with exclusive trading pins, or the option to donate their park ticket to a participating charity.  People from all over the world have gotten involved in volunteering.

Disney has put a lot into this program, creating a new parade starring the Muppets, throwing a huge media event (Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato even sang!) and breaking a world record with the largest sculpture of canned goods ever made.

Even though the program is over, Disney is still encouraging guests to volunteer in their communities through the HandsOn Network.

At the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter we had 50 people give of their time to earn their ticket to Disney.  Thank you to everyone who participated and keep volunteering!!!

Bonnie Y., Red Cross Volunteer, with her button she got from Disney!


Give a Day to Your Red Cross, Get a Day at Disney

The American Red Cross Lakeland chapter is a excited to be one of the participating community organizations in the “Give a Day. Get a Disney Day.” program. Disney wants to inspire one million people to volunteer a day of service in their community and by participating you can get a 1-day, 1-theme park ticket to the Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort. To find out more about the terms and conditions visit their website.

You must pre-register but the process is very easy. It takes less than ten minutes if you know where you want to volunteer and here at the Red Cross we hope we can make that easy for you. Participants can use their tickets until December 15, 2010, but hurry to sign up because ticket quantities are limited.

If you want to participate as a volunteer but can’t make it to Disney you can still be part of the fun. You can donate your ticket to a non-profit organization designated by Disney Parks including the  Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern California.

To learn more about volunteer programs with the Red Cross Lakeland Chapter contact Jody Weyers at 920-227-4287 or by email at