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Kenosha Police Department & Kenosha Fire Department Receive Nearly 150 REACH-A-Child™ First Responder Bags, Thanks to AT&T Contribution

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Kenosha Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Tilton Carries Bags Into The Fire Department Today
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Program provides free books to help comfort children in crisis

The Kenosha Police Department and Kenosha Fire Department today received nearly 150 first responder bags today to help children deal with crisis situations as part of the REACH-A-Child™ program, thanks to a $10,000 AT&T contribution that is supporting first responders across Wisconsin. 

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The program provides local sheriffs, police, EMTs and fire departments with first responder REACH BAGs that contain a variety of children’s books that are given to children at the scene of an accident, house fire or other emergency. The goal is to redirect the children’s attention from the crisis at hand, allowing them to experience an educational escape from their fears.

Brandon Harris and Robyn Gruner – AT&T, Curt Fuszard – Executive Director for Reach-A-Child, Lt. Leo Viola -Kenosha Police Public Information Officer and Jeff Schroeder, Board of Directors – Reach-A-Child

“We were honored to be selected by such a great project as reach a child.  We identify with their mission to provide comfort and diversion to children who are experiencing a traumatic event.  Reach a child could not have picked a better community of children to bless with this gift, said Lt. Leo Viola, a spokesman for Kenosha Police.

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“When children are facing a crisis situation like a car accident or domestic disturbance, our mission is to help first responders engage them in a positive way through the power of a book,” said Curtis Fuszard, Executive Director of REACH-A-Child. “Thanks to the generous financial support from AT&T, we are able to help first responders in Kenosha comfort children in need.”

Both agencies also received 250 additional children’s books for use in community engagement activities. 

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Since 2014, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have contributed $77,500 to support REACH-A-Child in Wisconsin.

Kenosha Fire Chief Chris Bigley Talks With Executive Director Of Reach-A-Child Today
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

“REACH-A-Child is a wonderful organization that is helping first responders comfort children who are often dealing with very stressful and traumatic situations,” said Paul Weirtz, president of AT&T Wisconsin. “We are proud to support this nonprofit’s mission to comfort children in crisis, and we are happy we can help provide REACH bags to Kenosha first responders.”

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REACH-A-Child is a Madison-based nonprofit that partners with first responders in many communities across the state. Its mission is to provide first responders with REACH BAGs filled with books and drawstring backpacks to help comfort children in crisis. To learn more, please visit: http://reachachild.org/.

The $10,000 AT&T contribution is part of the company’s philanthropic giving efforts to support our local communities. We invest our company’s resources and knowledge to advance access to education and training, improve lives, and strengthen the communities in which we live and work.

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*About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

We’re committed to advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities and improving lives. As part of our companywide commitment to address the digital divide, we launched AT&T Connected Learning to invest in connectivity and technology, digital literacy and education solutions to help today’s learners succeed inside and outside of the classroom. Since 2008, we’ve committed to programs that help millions of students across all 50 states and around the world, particularly those in underserved communities.

Jeff Schroeder, Board of Directors – Reach-A-Child and Kenosha Deputy Fire Chief Dan Tilton Today
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
Jeff Schroeder, Board of Directors – Reach-A-Child, Lt. Leo Viola -Kenosha Police Public Information Officer, Robyn Gruner and Brandon Harris – AT&T

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13 Responses

  1. Re: “When children are facing a crisis situation . . . our mission is to help first responders engage them in a positive way through the power of a book”

    This is a rather curious approach to corporate “giving back.” I’m trying to figure this one out. Personally, I like books. But for children, if something is not on a “smart phone,” I don’t think they’ll take much interest in it. Regardless, if there’s a serious event like a housefire or traumatic accident, I can’t imagine the kid finding any comfort in a book. Nor do I imagine that first responders would have much time to pass out these educational care packages.

    But it’s entirely possible that I’m missing something here. And I’m seriously not trying to rain on anyone’s parade.

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    1. So what is your suggestion? We give every kid a smartphone or tablet at the scene of a traumatic event. Kids are happy with stuffed animals, coloring books, and many little things that adults look at as frivolous. Maybe parents and educators should be continuing to teach the importance and value of books? Instead of just dismissing them?

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      1. But they’re not getting stuffed animals or coloring books. Nor would I look at a book as being frivolous; it just strikes me as very ineffective in this case, for its intended purpose.

        My suggestion? Unless someone has a convincing argument to the contrary, my suggestion would simply be “don’t bother giving the kids books.”

    1. Well, probably not community supervision and prisons. Don’t forget the “kids for cash” scandal. Let’s not rush into 100% profit-seeking privatization.

      1. Why should any corporation ever spend any resources for charity? Their obligation is to give a decent return on investment to the shareholders.
        Individuals and houses of worship will as they always do make large charitable contributions to any deserving causes.

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        1. That is a great point. This nonsense started back in the 90s (or maybe earlier) and they used to call it “corporate social responsibility.” It was a slippery slope, and corporations went down that slope head first and full speed. Now they’re bandwagon-jumping, and aligning themselves with trendy political movements. They didn’t know when to stop.

          As corporate “giving back to the community” goes, however, this seems like a rather benign waste of a small amount of money, and certainly not a divisive political stance.

      2. If you think public prisons do not do things for cash, you are mistaken. The prison is still run by people. It happens every day. It is sad and pathetic. It is harder to find, but it happens all the time.

  2. Tho it all sounds great, as with govt, corporate sponsorship doesn’t give away anything that they didn’t first take from someone else. In this case, inflated consumer prices.. Subaru commercial comes to mind too..

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