About REACH-A-Child™

Vision Statement 

“The First Response is a Book for Every Child-In-Crisis.”


Mission Statement

To provide First Responders with REACH BAGs filled with books and drawstring backpacks to help comfort children-in-crisis.

The REACH BAG Program operates as follows: Each squad or emergency vehicle is equipped with a First Responder BAG containing the following: 20 children’s books & drawstring backpacks. When First Responders encounter a child-in-crisis, they offer the child a book which the child gets to keep. The First Responder also gives the child a drawstring backpack to put the book in – and anything else the child might have to keep with them. The cost of the BAG also includes one annual refill of the books and the children’s backpacks.

Our Results

Children are immediately comforted and their attention directed away from the crisis at hand. First Responders consistently report that the act of giving the child a book immediately calms them and helps them to cope with the situation around them. As one officer reported, “…after getting my REACH BAG, I offered a book to the little girl who was extremely frightened. She was instantly comforted and became far less fearful.”

A second result is that First Responders feel good about their jobs and what they do. REACH staff hear from First Responders all the time that the act of giving the book and seeing the child become less fearful, helps them to feel good about what they doing. After helping a homeless family, one officer reported that she “left feeling better about my job knowing that simple contacts aided with things like the donated books can really make a difference.”

Neuroscience Research reports that the brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time. By giving a child a book, their attention turns away from the crisis to the person with the book!

Marquette University study shows that this program can reduce the impact of PTSD in children in these instances.

Our Needs

REACH-A-Child™ is a Madison-based non-profit currently partnering with First Responders in many communities across Wisconsin. This effort involves the creation of REACH BAGs* which are then delivered to the offices of the First Responders. This takes time and money. As we aren’t selling the books or BAGs, we rely upon sponsors to support our program since local departments cannot include this costs in their budgets.

Given our local community focus — helping YOUR police, fire, ambulance, etc. — we hope you will agree this is a GREAT way for your business to support your local First Responders! Please join us as we help First Responders to put a smile on the face of every child-in-crisis.

* This program does not discriminate, as emergencies happen to everyone no matter what their income level, race OR beliefs.

REACH-A-Child™ is a 501(c)3. All donations are tax-deductible 

The REACH-A-Child™ Team

  • Curt Fuszard
    Curt FuszardExecutive Director
  • Eric Salzwedel
    Eric SalzwedelMarketing & Development Director
  • Patricia Sugden
    Patricia SugdenProgram Coordinator

The REACH-A-Child™ Board of Directors

  • Tim Powers
      Tim PowersPresident

      President & CEO of Mass Mutual- Wisconsin

    • Cory Erickson
        Cory EricksonTreasurer/President-Elect

        President & CEO at Career Momentum, Inc.

      • Eric Ristau
          Eric RistauSecretary

          Attorney at Eustice, Laffey, Sebranek & Auby, S.C.

        • Kevin Campos
            Kevin CamposBoard Member

            Real Estate Broker at Campos Realty Group/Howard and Williams

          • Phani Palety
              Phani PaletyBoard Member

              CEO – Technoviz

            • Kay-Tee Olds
                Kay-Tee OldsBoard Member

                President – Engaging Results Communications

                Co-Founder – Madison Noteworthy

              • Jeff Schroeter
                  Jeff SchroeterBoard Member

                  Community Relations and Charitable Giving at Metcalfe’s

                • Natasha Vora
                    Natasha VoraBoard Member

                    Director of Consumer Strategies at Rev360

                  • Mary Beth Wunsch, RN, BS
                      Mary Beth Wunsch, RN, BSBoard Member


                    The REACH-A-Child™ Advisory Council

                    • Chief Steven Davis
                        Chief Steven Davis

                        Fire Chief
                        Madison Fire Department

                      • Mayor Paul Esser
                          Mayor Paul Esser

                          City of Sun Prairie

                        • Chief Charles Foulke
                            Chief Charles Foulke

                            Police Chief
                            Middleton Police Department

                          • Officer Tommy Foy
                              Officer Tommy Foy

                              Sun Prairie Police Department

                            • Chief Chris Garrison
                                Chief Chris Garrison

                                Fire Chief
                                Sun Prairie Fire Department

                              • Sheriff John Gossage
                                  Sheriff John Gossage

                                  Brown County Sheriff Department

                                • Chief Aaron Harris
                                    Chief Aaron Harris

                                    Fire Chief
                                    Middleton Fire Department

                                  • Chief Mike Koval
                                      Chief Mike Koval

                                      Police Chief
                                      Madison Police Department

                                    • Captain Adrian Logan
                                        Captain Adrian Logan

                                        Wisconsin State Patrol-North Central Region

                                      • Sheriff Dave Mahoney
                                          Sheriff Dave Mahoney

                                          Dane County Sheriff Department

                                        Departments partnering with REACH-A-Child

                                        • Brown County Sheriff
                                        • Dane County Sheriff
                                        • Columbia County Sheriff
                                        • WI State Patrol – SW, NE & NW Region
                                        • Children’s Advocacy Center-Eau Claire
                                        • Cross Plains Police
                                        • Deforest Fire & EMS
                                        • Fall River Police Department
                                        • Little Chute Fire Department
                                        • Lodi Police Department
                                        • Madison Police Department
                                        • Mauston EMS
                                        • McFarland Police, Fire, and EMS
                                        • Middleton Police, Fire, and EMS
                                        • Oshkosh Police Department
                                        • Prairie Du Sac Fire Department
                                        • Sauk Prairie Police Department
                                        • Rio Police Department
                                        • Ryan Brothers Ambulance
                                        • Sauk City Fire Department
                                        • Southwest Health Center EMS
                                        • Sun Prairie Police, Fire, and EMS
                                        • UW Madison Police Department
                                        • Waunakee Police Department
                                        • Waunakee Fire & EMS Department