|Photo by Connie Rutt, Children’s Disaster Services|
|We’re rebuilding New Jersey! Children play out their response to Hurricane Sandy’s destruction at a Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) center in a shelter in New Jersey.|
Two teams of volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) are at work caring for children in shelters in New York and New Jersey.
The team in New York is caring for children at a shelter at Nassau Community College in Garden City, where 715 people took shelter last night.
The team in New Jersey is caring for children in a new shelter that just opened yesterday in Tuckerton, N.J., north of Atlantic City.
Children’s Disaster Services is a Church of the Brethren ministry that has been meeting the needs of children since 1980. Working cooperatively with FEMA and the American Red Cross, CDS provides trained and certified volunteers to set up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers. Specially trained to respond to traumatized children, CDS volunteers provide a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos that follows disasters. CDS has a highly trained team that responds to aviation disasters, and also served in New York following the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
“The shelter situation is quite fluid,” reports CDS associate director Judy Bezon, who is on-site coordinating the work of the volunteers. “With this second storm and the cold, more clients will be seeking to stay in shelters. We continue to investigate working in FEMA Disaster Assistance Centers in both New Jersey and New York.”
The two teams, who have numbered up to 20 volunteers, began working in the shelters at Nassau Community College and Tuckerton today, after shelters where they had cared for children over the weekend closed. Yesterday they took a “most needed break” as the second storm headed into the area, Bezon said.
Find out more about Children’s Disaster Services at www.brethren.org/cds .