Kendra Stitt Robins
Project Night Night
San Francisco, California
Simply put, Kendra Stitt Robins helps homeless children have sweeter dreams. A former corporate attorney, Kendra got bitten by the giving bug while helping clients form nonprofit organizations. When she and her husband took an extensive trip with their then-18-month-old son, Cole, she noticed that he could fall asleep peacefully anywhere and wake up to a great day if he had consistent reminders of home: blanket, book, and stuffed animal.
On their return home, Kendra took spare comfort items for children out of her own household to a homeless shelter. She was promptly asked if she could provide more. Soon her neighbors pitched in, and Kendra realized, Victims of domestic violence are lucky to be able to escape with their children, let alone their childrens favorite teddy bears. Adults need a roof over their heads and food on the table to feel safe; children need to know theres nothing scary under the bed. A book, a blanket, and a stuffed animal make them feel secure.
Founded in 2005, Project Night Night has provided those items, tucked in a canvas tote, to 125,000 children through the efforts of some 10,000 volunteers a year in every state.
Among the ways to get involved are by donating items or money, by hosting events, or by sponsoring a night-night package. Donors may ask that shelters in their own communities be served. Children, especially Girl Scouts, are among the organizations most zealous volunteers, making no-sew blankets and fund-raising. One troop even made Project Night Night badges for their uniforms!
Kendras heart was warmed by a shelter workers story about a little boy who declined an offer to have the tag cut from his blanketit was the first time he had ever received anything new.