GREENE COUNTY – Christmas is coming early for Greene County Fire, EMS and area social services. Books to the Rescue is donating brand new books and stuffed animals to Greene County local agencies that will aid in comforting nearly 8,000 children in crisis.
Books to the Rescue will ceremoniously gift each Greene County Fire Department with “Comfort Bags” Thursday, Dec. 20 at the Cedarville Township Fire Department. Books to the Rescue is stocking every fire engine and ambulance in Greene County with comfort bags packed full of brand new books (66 bags in all). Comfort bags, fitted inside rescue vehicles, contain enough books to reach more than 50 children. First responders can hand out these specialty books to any distressed child they may come across during a call. Books to the Rescue resources provide a way for first responders to connect with and soothe, distract or comfort a child who may be scared or traumatized by the situation.
Greene County Fire and EMS Services include Beavercreek, Bellbrook, Cedarville, Fairborn, Miami Township, New Jasper Township, Silvercreek Township, Spring Valley Township, Sugarcreek Township, Xenia and Xenia Township.
Seven agencies that deal with children impacted by the drug epidemic, neglect, abuse, and /or domestic violence will additionally receive specialty string bags with matching books and plush toys. Social workers, who often counsel and direct a child through a grieving process or a post-traumatic stressful event, can use the themed string bags and books with plush toys to aid in building trust and encouraging a child to open up. String Bag sets (745 in all) will be donated to Greene County CASA, Xenia and Fairborn Victim Assistance Program, Xenia and Fairborn Domestic Violence Investigators, Family Violence Prevention Center and ACE Drug Task Force. Books to the Rescue will also equip 40 field workers at Greene County Children Services who come in contact with more than 1,500 abused and neglected children with comfort bags. Centerville Police, which occasionally serves Greene County, will also receive comfort bags for their 16 cruisers.
Books to the Rescue filled its first fleet of rescue vehicles in 2015 when Founder and Executive Director Jana Gruber took on the initial “project” of raising enough funds to stock every police cruiser in Greene County. Because the project was successful and proved to be a tool for first responders, Gruber has since turned the nonprofit into a full-time program and is expanding services with the aid of grants and donations. This initiative was funded by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, which awarded Books to the Rescue with a $50,000 Victims of Crime Act Grant. Additionally, 100 Women Making a Difference in Greene County granted Books to the Rescue with a $10,000 gift and Wright-Patterson Officers’ Spouses’ Club donated $1,000. Greene Memorial Hospital and Soin Medical Center donated 2,500 string bags. Books to the Rescue is a Component Part of Greene County Community Foundation, a 501c3 organization.