At the end of July I wrote about Kitsap County Coroner Greg Sandstrom and his involvement in a national program targeting families that need a safe place for their children to sleep.
At the time Sandstrom had five Graco Pack ‘n Play portable cribs to give away. Shortly after my article was published all the cribs were spoken for, but the list of people needing the portable cribs was growing. It wasn’t long after the article ran that Sandstrom was contacted by the national nonprofit organization Cribs for Kids — the agency he partnered with to help combat the high number of accidental baby deaths — who let him know if he could raise $2,500 from the community the organization would match that amount and send him more cribs.
Last week Sandstrom sent me an email saying he’d met the financial match thanks to generous donations from the community. That means 75 more cribs are headed to Kitsap County for low-income families that otherwise do not have a safe place for their babies to sleep. If a family is given a crib they also receive education about the American Academy of Pediatrics’ safe sleep guidelines for infants that include always placing a baby on its back to sleep and keeping things like blankets, pillows and toys out of the crib to reduce a baby’s chance of suffocation.
Sandstrom credits donations from individuals, the East Bremerton Kiwanis Club, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, Bremerton fire fighters and the Boilermakers Local 290 for helping reach the $2,500 goal.
“For several years now, our office has been providing public education to schools and the Navy, participated in high school mock crashes (which are sponsored by MADD) and instructed other agencies on the proper way in investigate infant deaths. This gives us an opportunity to provide a tool along with the training that will aid in safe sleeping,” Sandstrom said in a news release.
Once the cribs arrive, Sandstrom will work with Kitsap Community Resources to identify families in need. KCR will distribute the cribs, he said.