Since 1980 Children’s Disaster Services (CDS), a program of Brethren Disaster Ministries, 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, volunteers provide a calm, safe and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, wildfires any natural or human caused disaster.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, CDS volunteers are not able to deploy to care for children after disasters. As an alternative to in-person care, the Individual Kit of Comfort (IKOC) was created to promote a sense of normalcy and an opportunity for the healing power of play. More are needed! Will you help us? Any amount is welcome: make just a few or go together with others to make many! Click here to learn more. For further information, contact email@example.com.
Volunteers from across the country
- participate in specialized experiential training
- undergo a rigorous screening process
- learn to work with children after a disaster
- are capable of mobilizing rapidly and responding both locally and nationally.
Volunteers arrive to a disaster location with a “Kit of Comfort” containing carefully selected toys that promote imaginative play. Volunteers give children individualized attention and encourage them to express themselves, thereby starting the healing process. Although many volunteers are motivated by faith, CDS’ training is open to anyone over 18 years old.
CDS provides respite, education and individualized consultation for parents about their child’s unique emotional needs after a disaster. Through consultation or workshops specifically tailored to each situation, CDS also works with parents, community agencies, schools or others to help them understand and meet the special needs of children during or after a disaster.
Bridges is the Brethren Disaster Ministries newsletter published three times a year. It features articles from our Children’s Disaster Services program, as well as our Rebuild program, and international efforts. Learn more about the Bridges Newsletter.
Global Mission and Service Ministries are separated into two departments, Roy Winter receives promotion
The Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission and Service has been separated into two departments: Global Mission and Service Ministries. The action carried out by general secretary David Steele was announced today, Sept. 25. Roy Winter, who had been associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries, will provide oversight for
Brethren Disaster Ministries monitors disaster situations, Children’s Disaster Services sends out Individual Kits of Comfort
Brethren Disaster Ministries is monitoring the situation in Louisiana and Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura as well as the wildfires affecting northern California. Staff are participating in national coordinating calls and communicating with partner organizations to coordinate any response. The initial Church of the Brethren response has begun with Children’s Disaster Services (CDS). The Red Cross activated CDS to deploy 600 Individual Kits of Comfort to aid children and families affected by Hurricane Laura and the California wildfires.
CDS updates children’s resources for use by congregations
By Lisa Crouch Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has been actively reviewing and updating the COVID-19 resource page with new resources for families since the beginning of the pandemic. The Church of the Brethren COVID-19 Response Planning Committee requested a small children’s committee to form to assess additional outreach for church congregations at this unique time
Children’s Disaster Services to provide individual Kit of Comfort
The staff of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) have been working on a shift to new ways of serving children who are affected by disasters this year. The pandemic is affecting how volunteer organizations respond to disasters as they operate with caution and adapt to restrictions on face-to-face contact. During a time when CDS volunteers may