“Our California team has cared for over 218 children in Calistoga, Calif., in response to the wildfires,” reports Children’s Disaster Services associate director Kathy Fry-Miller. “They are serving at a Local Assistance Center for families.”
The Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) program, which is a part of Brethren Disaster Ministries, offers care for children and families affected by disasters. The CDS volunteers, who are trained and certified, serve in cooperation with FEMA and the American Red Cross, working to set up child care centers in shelters and assistance centers.
One of the CDS volunteers currently serving in California shared, “We have had two boys come in for the past few days. While chatting with the dad he told me the other services in the area didn't matter. We [Children's Disaster Services] were what mattered to him and the families.
“He thanked us for being so safe. He was just overjoyed to have us here. He said all the families were talking about us and how happy the kids are when they leave.”
Fry-Miller noted in her brief e-mail report from the response in Calistoga, that “the children's needs are being attended to, and they are feeling well cared for in the midst of the chaos of their difficult situation.”