Term: Emergency Management and Stuffed Animal Essays

Submitted By jane135
Words: 557
Pages: 3

Project Smile is a federally tax exempt non-profit organization which donates new and previously owned stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons, small toys and children's reading books for police officers, fire fighters and paramedics to give to children. The goal of Project Smile is to provide all emergency responders throughout New England and eventually throughout the nation, with a continual supply of comfort items to help ease the pain and fear of traumatized children.

Very few police officers or firefighters have anything to give to a child. Please help PROJECT SMILE reach its goal of collecting enough stuffed animals for every emergency responder in New England to always have one to give to a hurting child.

Why do the police, fire fighters and paramedics need stuffed animals? They give them to children who are
•Accident Victims
•Crime Victims
•Witnesses to a Crime
•Experiencing Traumatic Event
•Coping with Loss
•Sick and/or Injured

An email excerpt from Kim, a mother whose 7 year old daughter received a stuffed animal and coloring book/crayons from police and fire fighters after being involved in a car accident:

"I want to thank your organization for everything that you do… I had never heard or seen your organization before but fully believe after our experience that it is a blessing to all children that go through a traumatizing experience… Your organization is so necessary during times like we experienced."

Project Smile also partners with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (formerly Department of Social Services) by donating stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons and reading books for children entering foster care in the Commonwealth. There are currently 8,000 children in Massachusetts in foster care each year, most of whom enter foster care with few, if any, personal possessions. A gift of a stuffed animal offers these children, who have been involved in very painful circumstances, a source of comfort.

In 2010, Project Smile expanded to partner with homeless shelters by donating stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons and reading books for children living in shelters. According to the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, in October 2006, more than 1,400 families were staying in the state’s emergency shelter system each night. This included nearly 3,000 children --- half of whom…