SOURCE: Save the Children

September 13, 2008 15:16 ET

Toys"R"Us and Scholastic Donate Supplies to Help Families Seeking Shelter From Hurricane Ike

Save the Children Distributing Thousands of Diapers, Portable Cribs, Books and Other Emergency Supplies to Babies and Children in Texas Evacuation Centers

WESTPORT, CT--(Marketwire - September 13, 2008) - Bolstered by generous donations from Toys"R"Us, Inc. and Scholastic, Save the Children is providing assistance to thousands of Texas families forced from their homes by Hurricane Ike, which is rapidly becoming one of the most destructive storms to hit the state in years. More than 4 million people are without power after 110 mile-an-hour winds and heavy rains pounded the Texas coastline and metro Houston area.

In cooperation with the American Red Cross, Save the Children is working in shelters throughout San Antonio to meet the basic needs of infants, toddlers and older children who arrived by the thousands during the night.

The agency is distributing 500 portable cribs and 50,000 diapers and baby wipes donated by Toys"R"Us to provide safe, comfortable environments for infants and toddlers living in the shelters. Save the Children is also distributing more than 3,200 "My Time" activity kits and 1,000 children's books, donated by Scholastic. The activity kits contain books for children ages 5-12 and resources for families dealing with trauma and relocation.

In addition to distributing supplies, Save the Children creates Safe Spaces for children living in the evacuation shelters. Safe Spaces are designed to let children be children, even in the midst of a crowded emergency shelter, and include a supervised area filled with toys, art supplies, books and games.

"This is a very frightening experience for children, who will be displaced from their homes for days or even weeks," said Kate Dischino, who is leading Save the Children's emergency response team in Texas. "Our support provides a safe and comforting area for children within the shelters, and allows parents to register for emergency services and prepare for their return home."

"These donations are vital for the continued relief efforts of Save the Children and we truly value our relationship with Toys"R"Us and Scholastic," said Mark K. Shriver, Vice President and Managing Director of U.S Programs for Save the Children. "Children have unique needs following a natural disaster that go beyond the basic necessities of food and shelter. Save the Children works to protect children physically and emotionally and our success would not be possible without the support of dedicated partners like Toys"R"Us and Scholastic who respond with urgency when disaster strikes."

Toys"R"Us has designated Save the Children as one of its primary partners in situations where children need urgent assistance as a result of large-scale disasters. Earlier this month, the fund donated a generous number of diapers and baby cribs to Louisiana residents displaced by Hurricane Gustav. Toys"R"Us and Save the Children have also collaborated in the past to aid in tsunami relief and reconstruction efforts in Southeast Asia and to help victims of the Southern California wildfires, tornadoes in Arkansas and Tennessee, and the Midwest Floods.