#DFGives: Volunteer with Project Night Night at Dreamforce
Giving back is a big part of Dreamforce and each day of Dreamforce ’15 there will be opportunities for all attendees to make volunteering a part of their experience. Kickoff Dreamforce right by volunteering with Project Night Night on Tuesday, September 15 between 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Dreampark by filling a Night Night Package for a child in need.
What is Project Night Night’s Mission and Whom do you Help?
Founded in 2005, Project Night Night is an innovative and award-winning San Francisco-based nonprofit organization. Each year, Project Night Night equips 25,000 homeless and underserved children across the United States with “Night Night Packages” to ensure that they have a concrete and predictable source of security as well as an increased exposure to high-quality literacy materials during their time of upheaval.
Each Night Night Package contains a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children’s book, and a stuffed animal — all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag. By providing objects of reliable comfort, Project Night Night reduces trauma and advances the emotional and cognitive well-being of the children whom we serve.
This year, we celebrate our 10th Anniversary and the milestone of having placed over 250,000 Night Night Packages into the eager arms of the littlest victims of homelessness.
What’s a Night Night Package?
A Night Night package is a simple collection of items with a profound purpose — providing comfort at a child’s most vulnerable moment. It’s about giving children something to hold onto while mitigating the harmful effects of stress that these children feel within their adversity-filled environments.
Each Night Night package contains a new security blanket, a new book and a new stuffed animal, all in a special tote bag. Each bag is designed to be age appropriate, up to pre-teen boys and girls.
Project Night Night recognizes that children in stressful environments may have issues with attention, concentration, and organization – all factors that impact a child’s ability to be a ready and engaged learner. Night Night Packages are meant to provide comfort objects to reduce stress for the child, to reinforce trust between shelter staff and homeless children when the Night Night Packages are distributed, and to provide access to high-quality books often absent in homeless families.
Every parent knows how inextricably tied their children’s happiness is to their own and each year Project Night Night receives poignant letters from grateful parents.
What is your impact?
It’s our 10th birthday this year! As we look back, we realized that:
- We have made a difference to 250 THOUSAND homeless children.
- If the children we’ve helped placed their blankets end to end they would reach higher than 600 EMPIRE STATE BUILDINGS!
- Project Night Night has donated ONE QUARTER OF A MILLION BOOKS to homeless children to improve their chances for success in the classroom.
- Did you know that hugging a special stuffed animal REDUCES THE TOXIC STRESS RESPONSE in adversity filled environments? We did.
How can You get Involved?
We absolutely need your help!
- Stop by the Dreampark at Dreamforce on Tuesday, September 15th between 10am-12:30pm to fill a Night Night Package for a child in need.
- In honor of our 10th Anniversary, we would appreciate a donation of $25 at www.ProjectNightNight.org to underwrite the cost of a Night Night Package. Want to do more? Take our 10 Kid Challenge!
- Donate a product from our Amazon.com Wish List, and we will place it into the arms of a homeless child.
- Spread the word! The more folks who know about us, the more homeless children we can help. Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
What have been some of the more rewarding moments for you?
By far the most rewarding part of Project Night Night is receiving photos, drawings, and stories for the children who receive our Night Night Packages. I am a soft touch when it comes to children and many of the stories simply bring me to tears. One little boy refused to remove the tags from the blanket we gave him because, as he explained, “If I take-off the tags, my blanket won’t be new anymore, and I’ve never had anything new before.” Another little boy talked to the teddy bear he received from us. He told the bear his “secret” – that the boy’s mother was an alcoholic, but that the little boy assured his bear that he would keep the bear safe when the mother drank.
Who’s Behind Project Night Night?
Kendra Stitt Robins is the executive director and founder of Project Night Night, a mother, and a lawyer. Educated at Georgetown University, where she earned a bachelor’s, master’s and law degree, she worked as an attorney in San Francisco after graduation. Kendra left the law firm in 2004 to run Project Night Night.
Jessica Silverman Bryan is the deputy director of Project Night. Her responsibilities include managing the organization’s volunteer base and the corresponding Adopt a Night Night Package program. Jessica earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Middlebury College and worked in development and event planning roles at Harvard University and the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business before joining Project Night Night.
Find out more ways to give back during Dreamforce with #DFGives!
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