East Hawaii News

Red Cross, Disney Team up for ‘The Pillowcase Project’

September 9, 2015, 11:35 AM HST
* Updated September 9, 11:37 AM
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The American Red Cross and Disney has teamed up with renewed commitment to help provide disaster preparedness to children and their families through The Pillowcase Project initiative.

As country-wide initiative, The Pillowcase Project provides support both through in-school and after-school curriculum that gives students from third through fifth grade the opportunity to learn about preparation for emergency situations and the ability to cope with emergencies.

Students participate in the Hawai'i Red Cross' Pillowcase Project. Hawai'i Red Cross photo.

Students participate in the Hawai’i Red Cross’ Pillowcase Project. Hawai’i Red Cross photo.

“This amazing program for children is one that we are very proud to call our own.” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO of the Hawai’i Red Cross. “We are thrilled to continue The Pillowcase Project in schools and after-school programs across the state. The program gives our keiki the opportunity to learn about the science behind various hazards and the importance of preparedness in a fun and interactive way.”

The project is structured by three core principals: learn, practice, and share. Students learn about hazards, how to prepare for various emergencies, and enhance their coping skills as the practice what they learned and share with their friends and families.

Emergency communication plans, fire evacuation plans, and emergency contact cards are all among the items emphasized throughout the program.


Student participants learn to pack their own emergency supply kits by packing essential items in a pillowcase for easy transport.  Part of the presentation through schools has students decorating and personalizing pillowcases that can be taken home to begin to prepare.


The Pillowcase Project was inspired by the story of local university students who carried their items in pillowcases after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans.

Teachers or other groups who have a group of 20 to 30 third grade students who are interested in a presentation can contact the Hawai’i Red Cross Preparedness Manager, Carole Kaapu, at 739-9112 or e-mail [email protected]. Those interested in volunteering to present can also contact Kaapu.

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