By Kristen Hoffman
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has deployed a team of 10 volunteers to Houston, Texas, in response to heavy flooding. The CDS volunteers were to arrive mid-day April 21, and have tentative plans to continue childcare through the beginning of May.
The American Red Cross alerted the CDS office of the need for two teams to be deployed on Tuesday. Since then, the office has worked hard to gather volunteers and received an incredible response from volunteers across the country who could leave within 48 hours of the request. We have been fortunate in mobilizing so quickly for this response!
Central and eastern parts of Texas have been continually drenched in rainfall in recent days. Earlier this week, 17 inches of rain was reported to have fallen over a period of 24 hours. More than three million people in the Houston area alone have been affected by the high water levels.
Earlier this month, CDS was requested in Monroe, La., to respond with child care for areas of flooding as well. Volunteers for that response were able to work with many children for eight days, in a community center.
Since 1980, Children’s Disaster Services has been meeting the needs of children by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers across the nation. Specially trained to respond to traumatized children, CDS volunteers provide a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by disaster.
-- Kristen Hoffman is program assistant for Children's Disaster Services, a program of Brethren Disaster Ministries and Global Mission and Service. To learn more about the flooding in Texas, see this article from the American Red Cross: www.redcross.org/news/article/Millions-Face-Flash-Flood-Emergency .