The Carmel Police Department will be the recipient of a Valentine’s donation of blankets for children in crisis from the third grade classes at Woodbrook Elementary School in Carmel.
Monday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. a representative from the Carmel Police Department will receive a donation of over 100 “security blankets” as part of the “Claire’s Comfort for Kids” program, which equips first-responders with a means of reaching out to young children in traumatic situations.
The blankets will be placed in officers’ squad cars and can be used to comfort any child experiencing traumatic events such as auto accidents, fires, or domestic violence situations The program, sponsored by the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV), started two years ago when then 12-year-old Claire Helmen asked her mother – ICADV Program Services Director Linda Olvey – what could be done to help children caught in the middle of a crisis situation.
“When kids make the blankets … they own this feeling of ‘I’m helping another child,’” Olvey said.
Olvey estimates more than 2,000 blankets have since been delivered to law enforcement agencies across the state and hopes to continue to expand
the program. Her daughter, Claire, was a 2010 recipient of the Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s Power of Children Awards for her outstanding efforts.
“The gift of a pink or blue piece of cloth might seem unimpressive to some but to a child caught in the middle of a traumatic situation, it can make all the difference,” said Laura Berry, executive director of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “This small token can promote positive interactions between the child in crisis and a police officer.”