Children's Disaster Services (CDS) has deployed a specially trained team of Critical Response Childcare volunteers to Las Vegas, Nev., following the mass shooting there. The team was requested by the American Red Cross, and are serving in a Family Assistance Center, reported CDS associate director Kathleen Fry-Miller.
A group of seven volunteers arrived in Las Vegas earlier this week. CDS sent another six people to join the team on Oct. 6, for a total of 13 volunteers.
Team member Patty Henry reported from Las Vegas that “this center is expecting up to 27,000 people who have been affected by this tragedy.” Her report, provided via Facebook, noted the many privacy regulations in place. The CDS team is only able to provide photos of the center before people arrive, and photos of the team itself. Volunteers’ cell phones must be silenced while at the center, out of respect, Henry wrote.
To help in their work, the CDS team has received donations of playdough, paint, and other supplies from Child Life Specialists at a Las Vegas hospital, and also is receiving donations from Save the Children.
Critical Response Childcare volunteers have received specialized training to care for children following extreme trauma, such as airplane crashes, acts of terrorism, or other mass casualty events. Since 1997, the team has responded to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, 8 aviation incidents, 1 train incident, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the mass shooting in Orlando.
Find out more about the Critical Response Childcare team at www.brethren.org/cds/crc.html . Financially support the work of the team, and the other CDS volunteers still responding to Hurricane Harvey in Texas, by giving to the Emergency Disaster Fund at www.brethren.org/edf .