HOW THE CHILD SAFETY KIT CAME INTO BEING
We are honored that parents across the country & around the world come to us for help in learning ways to keep their kids safe.
Here’s the story of how our free Child Safety Kit came into being.
In the first years after Polly Klaas was kidnapped, parents would call or write asking for ways to keep their kids safe.
One of our founding board members, Marge Ford, began compiling safety tips. She typed up a page, and copies were sent to those requesting information.
About 15 years ago, Marge had enough information that she created the first Child Safety Kit. Little did she know how the Kit would grow over time, and how many families would benefit from her idea.
We have always updated our Child Safety Kit, adding information for parents on age appropriate safety measures, family abductions and Internet safety, etc. We eventually printed the Kit, creating a professional booklet parents could refer to over time.
Before the Internet, parents from all over the country & from around the world would send us letters requesting their Kit, or they would call us on the phone.
They found out about our Child Safety Kit from newspaper & magazine articles, their insurance agents, day care centers, local police, local safety fairs, from hospitals when a new baby was born and by word of mouth from one parent to the next.
As the volume of requests increased, we increased the numbers of staff members who handled the Child Safety Kit requests.
Each week our office was overrun with local high school students who volunteered to assemble the Child Safety Kits, put them in envelopes, and attach mailing labels. One of our administrative staff members would then take the Kits to the post office to be mailed.
In early 2005, everything changed. We had upgraded our website, and put up our first online order form for our free Child Safety Kit.
At the end of January we were bombarded with orders! It was astonishing. We didn’t know how these parents found us. We actually emailed 10 people who ordered their Kits asking them how they found us. They had seen our link on websites for moms.
At the end of February, 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford was abducted from her home in Florida. After an intense 3 week search that was watched by people throughout the nation, her remains were found and her kidnapper arrested.
While our professional case workers worked with Jessica’s family and law enforcement to find her, many parents fearfully searched the Internet for ways to keep their children safe. They found our online Child Safety Kit order form, and thousands of Kits were ordered in a very short period of time.
We weren’t prepared for this deluge of orders. We didn’t have enough Kits. We mailed out all the Kits in our inventory. It was clear we had to create a new system to meet future emergencies.
We redesigned our Child Safety Kit into the booklet format you know today. We printed large numbers of Kits so we were prepared for massive orders, and we made arrangements with a mail house to send out the Kits expeditiously.
Parents now find out about our free Child Safety Kit order form from links all over the Internet.
Bloggers write articles about the Kit and include the link, businesses provide the link knowing it can help their customers.
Parents put the link in their Facebook or Twitter posts, and in posts they make in online forums.
We’ve seen our link in online news stories, and on school and law enforcement websites. We’ve also got a Google Grant, so we’ve got ads up on Google for our Child Safety Kits.
We’ve delivered well over 400,000 Child Safety Kits to parents. Each year we deliver thousands more. We are grateful for this opportunity to help children and their parents keep safe.