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, and any natural or human-caused disaster.
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.
- Children’s Disaster Services offers volunteer training workshops in October
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has three volunteer training workshops coming up, for which we are taking registrations:
- EDF grants assist in Lebanon, DRC (Congo), Missouri, Kentucky, and Washington, D.C.
Brethren Disaster Ministries (BDM) staff have directed Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) grants to support grants in Lebanon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the U.S., to respond to flooding and provide assistance to asylum seekers.
- Children’s Disaster Services has a busy few weeks
These past few weeks have provided several opportunities for CDS volunteers to put their compassion, training, and servant leadership into practice.
- Children’s Disaster Services serves asylum-seeking families
Children’s Disaster Services presently has volunteers serving in the Washington, D.C., area with families who have been bussed from Texas and are seeking asylum in the United States.