The Pillowcase Project: Reaching the One Millionth Child

Next week, the American Red Cross Pillowcase Project will reach its one millionth child! This program aims to increase awareness of natural disasters and teach safety, emotional coping and personal preparedness skills to students in grades three through five (eight to 11 years old).

Learn, Practice and Share 

In this program, trained Red Cross volunteers help students learn how to create an emergency supply kit by packing essential items into a pillowcase, which makes it easier to transport items in the event of a disaster or emergency. Students are also given the opportunity to personalize their pillowcase and encouraged to share what they’ve learned with their loved ones.

Making a Difference

Leading up to reaching The Pillowcase Project’s one millionth child, Pillowcase Project teams are holding events throughout the Chicago and northern Illinois region, most recently in Will County’s Bolingbrook through a partnership with Will County EMA.

Vanessa Murray was the presenter from Will County EMA.

“I’ve always been interested in preparedness and being safe,” Murray said. “And that is what really draws me to presenting Pillowcase Project on a regular basis.”


As the children decorated their pillowcases and learned about preparedness, they were able to be a part of the One Millionth Student milestone through a celebration and received special certificates.


Since the project’s first pilot launched in 2013, teams have engaged 35,000 volunteers to partner with more than 13,000 schools, community organizations and partners to reach students. As a result, 11 lives have been saved. The American Red Cross has also supported international pilot programs in six countries abroad.

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  1. Pingback: The Red Cross needs YOU for Safe Families AmeriCorps « Red Cross Stories

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