Sunrise has been featuring the Red Cross Heroes for 2017. Here's a transcript of Steve Uyehara interviewing Kerri Scott, this year's Oahu volunteer of the year.
Steve: Kerri Scott has been selected as the Red Cross Oahu Volunteer of the Year. She's been doing this for about 5 years now. She's a major contributor to something called the "Pillowcase Project." First of all, this is a big deal. You have to be excited about it.
Kerri: Thank you. Thank you.
Steve: She's very modest. She didn't want the attention. But so explain to us, what is the Pillowcase Project?
Kerri: The Pillowcase Project started with Hurricane Katrina. Students were seen evacuating with and putting their stuff in the pillowcase. Red Cross said, good idea. It started the project, and the Disney Company partners with us, provided grants, pillowcases, books, it is a, it's to teach kids how to be safe in case of an emergency. And this is their grab-and-go emergency bag.
Steve: This is heavy duty stuff. Plus, I like the fact that you have them design it. They feel ownership over what they've created, right?
Kerri: They get to decorate it. They get the bag. They get to color it. Then they get to put in the items they want in their bag.
Steve: Okay, so let's look at what some of the items might possibly be.
We have, First Aid Kit.
Steve: Always important. Be prepared.
What else do we have inside here?
Kerri: Toiletries. If you get evacuated you want some toiletries with you. Toothbrush, toothpaste.
Steve: Gotta keep clean. Everyone appreciates that. What else do we have here? Ahhhhh...
Kerri: Flashlight. And with flashlight you need extra batteries. But I didn't pack everything in here.
No, no, no we understand.
Steve: And last, but not least? This is very important as well.
Ahhhhh...you have to have one of those. Sometimes it's very scary so you need an item that you can just hug, hold or a picture of your family. Something that helps you stay calm.
Kerri: Especially in a situation like that where there's so much uncertainty, your parents themselves are kind of frazzled. So I can imagine something like that is very important.
Steve: You've been doing this for about 5 years. How many students have you touched?
Kerri: A lot, more than 1,400 now. On Oahu we've reached, our goal this year is 2,200 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. Across the nation is 250,000 3rd, 4th and 5th graders across the nation. Our goal is to teach kids how to be prepared so when something happens, they know how to react, how to be safe, how to be calm and they're the age that goes home and tells their parents, their household, their families, their friends.
Steve: I can see it in your face, you obviously love it. You don't have to do this with your time. You have other things you can do. What inspires you to get involved in something like this, and what triggered it in the first place?
Kerri: Ummm, wanting to get involved, wanting to do something that's worth while. It's an excellent project. It's well-done. We had to kind of fight our way into schools because schools don't have time for a fun hour to give away. But this project is so well organized. It teaches the science of hazards, fire, tsunami, hurricane, and then it teaches how to be safe, how to be prepared. So now the teachers are totally excited about the program. They're calling Red Cross and saying when can you come and teach our kids.
Steve: And you'll be right out the door. Okay someone wants more information.
Kerri: Red Cross. Call Red Cross. Carol Kaapu is the director of the Home Fire and Pillowcase Project.
Steve: You know we'll also make it really easy. Go to Hawaiinewsnow.com after the show and we'll post a link to Red Cross Hawaii. Congratulations. Fantastic work. We really appreciate it. We'll be right back. You're watching Sunrise on Hawaii News Now.
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