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
  • Jamie Gurgul
    Jamie GurgulDirector of Development & Marketing
  • 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.

        • Deputy Kristine Camarillo
            Deputy Kristine CamarilloBoard Member

            Milwaukee County Sheriff Department

          • Kevin Campos
              Kevin CamposBoard Member

              Real Estate Broker at Campos Realty Group/Howard and Williams

            • David Fahey
                David FaheyBoard Member

                Executive Vice President
                Monona State Bank

              • Tara Nigh
                Tara NighBoard Member

                Director of Maximization
                Green Clock Films

              • Kay-Tee Olds
                  Kay-Tee OldsBoard Member

                  President – Engaging Results Communications

                  Co-Founder – Madison Noteworthy

                • Phani Palety
                    Phani PaletyBoard Member

                    CEO – Technoviz

                  • Jeff Schroeter
                      Jeff SchroeterBoard Member

                      Community Relations and Charitable Giving at Metcalfe’s

                    • Tracy Schweitzer
                        Tracy SchweitzerBoard Member

                        Talent Development Vice President
                        American Family Insurance

                      • Jennifer Schank
                          Jennifer SchankBoard Member

                          Fuhrman & Dodge

                        • Natasha Vora
                            Natasha VoraBoard Member

                            Director of Consumer Strategies at Rev360

                          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

                                              • Officer Kate Mann
                                                  Officer Kate MannPolice Officer

                                                  Oshkosh Police Department

                                                Departments partnering with REACH-A-Child

                                                • Adams County Sheriff    (12)
                                                • Argyle Police, Fire, and EMS    (4)
                                                • Baraboo Police, Fire, and EMS   (25)
                                                • Belleville Police and EMS   (3)
                                                • Brown County Sheriff  (9)
                                                • Cambridge Fire & EMS (8)
                                                • Children’s Advocacy Center-Eau Claire   (7)
                                                • Columbia County Sheriff  (20)
                                                • Cross Plains Police  (3)
                                                • Cuba City Police  (4)
                                                • Dane County Sheriff  (30)
                                                • Deforest Police, Fire, and EMS  (9)
                                                • Fall River Police  (2)
                                                • Fitchburg Police and Fire   (20)
                                                • Fitch-Rona EMS   (5)
                                                • Green County EMS  (6)
                                                • Janesville Police, Fire, and EMS    (37)
                                                • Keewaunee County Sheriff   (20)
                                                • Kilbourn Fire and EMS  (7)
                                                • Lafayette County Sheriff   (24)
                                                • Lake Delton Police and Fire  (2) (Partial)
                                                • Little Chute Fire  (3)
                                                • Lodi Police Department  (4)
                                                • Madison Police and Fire  (111)
                                                • Marquette County Sheriff  (16)
                                                • Mauston EMS  (3)
                                                • Marshfield Fire and EMS (4)
                                                • McFarland Police, Fire, and EMS   (12)
                                                • Medford Police, Fire, and EMS  (8)
                                                • Mequon Police  (13)
                                                • Middleton Police, Fire, and EMS (21)
                                                • Milwaukee County Sheriff  (125)
                                                • Milwaukee Police   (1) (Partial)
                                                • Milton Fire (3)
                                                • Monroe Police and Fire  (16)
                                                • Mount Horeb Fire  (1)  (Partial)
                                                • Nunda Fire (5)
                                                • Oregon Fire and EMS   (5)
                                                • Oshkosh Police and Fire  (34)
                                                • Osseo Police  (2)
                                                • Platteville Police  (6)
                                                • Prairie Du Sac Fire  (1)
                                                • Poynette Police  (6)

                                                *All REACH BAGs comfort 20 children-in-crisis.

                                                • Richland Center Police (4)
                                                • Rio Police Department  (2)
                                                • Riverside Fire   (6)
                                                • Ryan Brothers Ambulance  (2)
                                                • Sauk City Fire  (6)
                                                • Sauk County Sheriff  (25)
                                                • Sauk Prairie Police  (5)
                                                • Slinger Police  (6)
                                                • Shorewood Hills Police  (3)
                                                • Southwest Health Center EMS  (3)
                                                • Sun Prairie Police, Fire, and EMS  (24)
                                                • Taylor County Sheriff  (18)
                                                • Town of Madison Police  (9)
                                                • Trempealeau County Sheriff  (24)
                                                • UW Madison Police Department  (20)
                                                • Verona Police  (10)
                                                • Village of Howard Fire  (5)
                                                • Waunakee Police, Fire, and EMS  (28)
                                                • Winnebago County Sheriff  (24)
                                                • Wisconsin Dells Police  (6)
                                                • Wisconsin State Patrol – All Regions  (408)