Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) is responding to the fires in southern California, at the end of a week in which wildfires stoked by strong Santa Ana winds started northwest of Los Angeles and now have begun in the San Diego area as well. CDS will be deploying a team of eight volunteers to serve affected children and families in southern California beginning this weekend.
Also this week, CDS has been asked to gather a team of childcare givers to assist in a Disaster Assistance Service Center in Philadelphia, Pa. The CDS team is leaving for Philadelphia on Sunday, serving in a center set up by local Philadelphia government to support families arriving from Puerto Rico who have been affected by the hurricanes.
“We look forward to being able to assist these families during their time of need,” said a note from the CDS staff.
In related news, no Church of the Brethren congregations or church members are as yet directly affected by fires in southern California, according to Pacific Southwest District executive Russ Matteson. He reported by e-mail, “I have not heard from any of our congregations with concern that fires are close to them.”
CDS associate director Kathleen Fry-Miller commented, “The disasters continue!” This year, the program has provided numerous teams of volunteers to respond to disasters across the country--many more than in most years. So far in 2017, CDS volunteers have aided children and families affected by tornados in Georgia, floods and tornados in Missouri, flooding in New York State, fires in northern California, hurricanes in Texas and Florida, and the mass shooting in Las Vegas, in addition to these new responses in Philadelphia and southern California.
Find out more about CDS, which is a part of Brethren Disaster Ministries, at www.brethren.org/cds . Support CDS through gifts to the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund at www.brethren.org/edf .