This past March, Kars4Kids, had the privilege to sponsor the launching of America Responds With Love’s project to donate pillows, comfort pillows and books to Safe Place of Austin, Tx.
The actual stuffed animals and comfort pillows donated to Safe Place were provided to America Responds With Love by the Town of Newtown in Connecticut. Following the shooting of school children and school personnel in December of 2012, people throughout the United States sent tens of thousands of stuffed animals and comfort pillows to the Town of Newtown. The community utilized a portion of the donated products to help people truly in need in Newtown as well as throughout the State of Connecticut.
Safe Place will be using the stuffed animals, comfort pillows, and books in its Planet Safe Program. Planet Safe is a collaborative project of Safe Place and Travis County that allows children living in families with histories of family violence to have supervised visits between parents in a safe setting. Planet Safe provides safety for all family members, for children as well as for both custodial and non-custodial parents. Arrival and departure times are staggered, and custodial and non-custodial parents use separate entrances and separate waiting rooms upon arrival. Further security measures are also in place.
A variety of resources are available to help the children while at Planet Safe. A young child, for example, may select a comfort pillow or a stuffed animal. Children and teenagers will both have the opportunity to select books of interest.
“This generous gift from America Responds With Love will help the many children who are living through traumatic experiences as they use PlanetSafe services,” said Steven Olender, Community Relations Coordinator at SafePlace. “It’s hard to imagine how traumatic it is for babies, children and teens to endure custodial transfers and visits when there’s a history of family violence. The culture of fear and uncertainty that’s present in these situations can be particularly hard on children. We always rely on help from the community to provide the supplies and materials we need to support babies and children, and we are very grateful to American Responds With Love for their generosity.”