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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Red Cross Teams Up With Save the Children To Help Kids

Excerpted from American Red Cross press release:

Denver, Colo, Sunday, Sept. 22, 10:00 a.m. – The American Red Cross and national partner Save the Children have teamed up to help ease the trauma and impact of the recent floods on local children.

An evacuated family is all smiles at the Family Fun Night
organized by Save The Children and AmeriCorps NCCC
at the Greeley Disaster Assistance Center.
In the initial days following the Colorado floods, the Red Cross worked with Save the Children to provide the “Child-Friendly Spaces” program in evacuation shelters to make the shelters more welcoming for child evacuees and families. The program includes pre-packaged kits that contain equipment to mark off a special area for children, activity supplies (such as art materials, books, games and toys), and other materials to help ensure children’s safety and protection in shelters.  

"Emergency shelters, while providing a safe haven from the elements, often place children in unfamiliar places, and typically they lack toys, safe places to play and structured activities for children," said Eric Jones, Assistant Director of Direct Services for the Red Cross disaster response to the Colorado floods.   "Through this partnership, children in shelters are allowed to play, learn, socialize and express themselves under the supervision of a caring adult, giving them a sense of normalcy which can help them recover from the experience of weathering a disaster such as the recent floods.”

These safe play areas allow children to play, socialize, and begin to recover from emotional distress and offer hundreds of children the chance to be kids again. The kid-friendly activities create a safe and supportive place for children to play with their peers and caring adults in the midst of the turmoil that surrounds them.

AmeriCorps NCCC members play with children in the
Greeley Disaster Assistance Center during Family Fun Night.
Save the Children has operated the Child-Friendly Spaces program in five shelters and will be working with the Red Cross in upcoming days to provide additional support for kids affected by the flooding.

Additionally, Save the Children hosted a family fun night for shelter residents and Red Cross volunteers at the City of Greeley Recreation Center on Saturday evening, Sept. 21. Fifty children and their parents took part in a night of food, fun activities and entertainment.

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