Insurance Commissioner and Safe Kids N.C. Chair Mike Causey is proud to announce the winners of four Safe Kids North Carolina awards for outstanding work in providing service to keep kids and families safe in North Carolina.
These award presentations are usually held at the Safe Kids NC Conference but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s conference was cancelled.
• Safe Kids North Carolina Excellence in Injury Prevention by an Individual
Krystal White is the Coordinator for the Gaston County Health Department. She is a champion of the Safe Kids Gaston County medicine safety program. Krystle enjoys educating parents and children about medication safety and how candy and medication can look the same. Krystle is a certified child passenger safety (CPS) technician and attends almost every check-up event in Gaston County. Krystle takes safety programs to day care centers throughout the county and educates the workers on the best practices to prevent the risk of injuries. Krystle is Safe Kids Gaston County’s biggest supporter and their secretary. Please join us on congratulating Krystle White of the Gaston County Health Department as Safe Kids NC’s Excellence in Injury Prevention by an Individual.
• Safe Kids North Carolina Outreach Initiative of the Year
The Fit It-Fix It initiative began in the spring of 2019 when Safe Kids Durham County was assisting at a Durham Housing Authority event set up by the Durham Fire department. With the help of the Durham Bike Co-Op and Safe Kids Durham County, the kids were being fitted with helmets and learning about bike safety. A little girl who had just received a pretty purple helmet told Captain Carol Readon that she liked her purple helmet but her bike was broken! As a result, the policing unit, fire department, Bike Co-Op, Safe Kids and Durham County Library began the planning of what became a monthly pop-up shop to fix broken bikes for the kids in the Durham Housing Authority neighborhood. The Durham Bike Co- Op brought tires, tubes, brakes, pedals and tools needed to fix the bikes. Volunteers from all the agencies worked on childrens’ bikes. The kids even pitched in to help fix their own bikes by holding tools and asking questions of the role models! In addition, bike helmets were fitted at these events. In fact, a total of 236 helmets were fitted and 182 bikes were repaired during the 10 events! In many cases, the bikes were unrepairable. As a result, a total of 97 bikes were provided to children who needed them. This initiative was enhanced by the Holiday Bicycle Recycle Event. Over a two-week period, 290 used bikes were donated at area fire stations throughout Durham. Some of the bikes were unfixable and taken to the metal recycle center. In total, 41 volunteers from the fire department, police department and the bike Co-Op completed safety checks and repairs on 166 bikes! A group of children from a Durham Housing Authority community came to the fire station and received a bike and a helmet. The Police Community Engagement Unit took the remaining bikes to the kids who had put their names on the Wish List for a bike. Please join us on congratulating Durham Fire Department, Durham Police Department Housing and Community Engagement Unit, Durham Bike Co-Op and Safe Kids Durham County for the Fit It-Fix It Initiative -- this year’s winner of the Safe Kids North Carolina Outreach Initiative of the Year.
• Safe Kids North Carolina Coordinator of the Year
Jackie Quinley goes above and beyond the call of duty as the Safe Kids Gaston County coordinator. Jackie has been a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) for nine years and a CPS instructor for six years. She was nominated for the 2020 National CPS Instructor of the Year. Jackie makes it a point to be at every car seat check event and every Safe Kids event in Gaston County. She hosts training for local and regional CPS technicians to get their continuing education certifications. Jackie works events and activities out in the community -- making sure that Safe Kids Gaston is well known in the community. Jackie is a true leader. She makes every member of the coalition feel important and lets them know that they are truly apart of the team. Working and communicating with other Safe Kids Coalitions is something Jackie adores. Jackie often says “Work with neighboring Safe Kids coalitions, talk with them, bounce ideas off of each other, and you will discover there is so much to learn from one another. Not only does this make us better, but that knowledge also permeates throughout our communities. Safety does not end at the county line.” Jackie is always working on finding ways to make the Safe Kids Gaston County Coalition better! Please join us in congratulating this year’s Safe Kids NC Coalition Coordinator of the Year -- Jackie Quinley.
• Safe Kids North Carolina Coalition of the Year
Safe Kids Cumberland County serves and educates a large population of residents that includes many military members and visitors. Cumberland County is ranked 20th largest county in North Carolina by size, but it is ranked 5th in population. Safe Kids Cumberland County started as a small coalition in 2018 but grew into a large group of invested members wanting to help with risk affecting the children in their community. In fact, Safe Kids Cumberland County has nearly doubled its membership in the past year – hosting and supporting over 12 events in 2019 including Child Passenger Check Station events, Operation Medicine Drop events, Outdoor Movie Nights focusing on gun safety, and other safety aspects for children. In 2019, there were 19 Child Passenger Safety Permanent Check Stations manned by over 90 CPS Technicians. These check stations, staffed by Ft. Bragg Fire and Emergency Services, Spring Lake Fire and Rescue, and the Fayetteville Fire Department collectively educated and assisted with over 800 safety seat installations. Child passenger safety remains a top priority of this coalition throughout the year and new technicians are trained and certified continuously. Safe Kids Cumberland County also impacted the community in 2019 by creating a series of "Outdoor Movie Nights". Families enjoyed a free meal and outdoor movie while they visited several vendor tables for free safety resources. One large focus of these events was gun safety. Partners from the Fayetteville Police Department, Operation Ceasefire, and other coalition members joined together to educate and assist over 600 families in preventable injuries and safe gun practices for all ages. Operation Medicine Drop is also a large component of Safe Kids Cumberland County's initiatives. In 2019, over 600 pounds of medicine were collected in Fayetteville-area drop boxes. We look forward to watching Safe Kids Cumberland County to continue to grow. Please join us in congratulating safe Kids Cumberland County as the 2020 Safe Kids NC Coalition of the year!
“The dedication and service that our Safe Kids North Carolina coordinators, coalitions, and volunteers provide to local families and children is remarkable,” said Safe Kids N.C. Chair Mike Causey. “It is my honor to congratulate these deserving award winners for their dedication to the Safe Kids North Carolina program and their hard work to keep families and children safe in their communities.”