WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of National Preparedness Month in September, Disney is expanding its collaboration with the American Red Cross through several joint initiatives to help kids and families prepare for disasters and other emergencies.
"During disasters, children have unique vulnerabilities and often require special attention," said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. "We are grateful for Disney's ongoing commitment to the Red Cross, which allows us to develop innovative ways to educate children about the importance of preparedness and care for them during emergencies."
The Red Cross worked with Disney to develop the Mickey and Friends Disaster Preparedness Activity Book. The book teaches kids and families how to prepare for and respond to a wide range of disasters and emergencies through interactive games and activities. The book is available to download in Spanish and English.
Disney Friends for Change – a global initiative that inspires kids and families to take action and make a difference in their communities – will spotlight an interstitial on its website that shows kids three easy steps to prepare for the unexpected: Get a kit, make a plan and be informed. The spot, which features Disney Channel star and Friends for Change Ambassador Debby Ryan ("Jessie"), will also air on Disney Channel throughout September.
"It is important for families to plan ahead so kids feel secure in unpredictable situations," said Leslie Goodman, senior vice president, Corporate Citizenship at Disney. "We are proud to work with the Red Cross to develop tools that make it simple for families to prepare and to support programs that help ease kids' fears about the unexpected."
In addition to on-air and online support, Disney provided a grant to expand The Pillowcase Project. The program, piloted last year with a $1 million investment from Disney, supports in-school and after-school programs to help 3rd graders and families prepare for disasters. Through the program, kids learn how to create disaster kits by packing essential items into a pillowcase for easy transport in times of emergency. Disney's continued support will enable the Red Cross to grow the project nationwide and abroad.
Other Disney contributions to the Red Cross include the donation of Mickey Mouse plush dolls for kids during disaster-relief operations and hundreds of hours of volunteer service through the Disney VoluntEARS program.
Disney is part of a group of leading companies that are members of the Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP). As an ADGP member, Disney helps to ensure the Red Cross is ready to immediately respond when a disaster strikes.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
SOURCE American Red Cross