By the end of the day yesterday, Nov. 27, Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) had six volunteers working at FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers–continuing the response that CDS has made to the “superstorm” Sandy.
The CDS teams that provided child care centers in American Red Cross shelters in New York and New Jersey following the storm have returned home, now replaced by a new set of volunteers serving at the FEMA centers in Mays Landing and Atlantic City, N.J.
Prior to the arrival of this new set of volunteers, 19 CDS volunteers served in New York and 15 served in New Jersey responding to Hurricane Sandy.
FEMA has requested CDS support to help care for children at the Disaster Recovery Centers, while families apply for direct aid and complete paperwork. FEMA has told CDS that the centers will be open for several months, reported Roy Winter of Brethren Disaster Ministries. “So far our child counts are low and we are waiting to see if this changes over the next week, and visiting with FEMA to determine how long the response will occur,” he said yesterday.
The staff at Brethren Disaster Ministries has requested an allocation of up to $10,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to provide housing, transportation, and meals for CDS volunteers responding in the FEMA recovery centers.
The CDS work has been getting attention from the media. CDS associate director Judy Bezon was quoted in a “USA Today” article picked up from the “Asbury Park Press,” at www.usatoday.com/story/life/2012/11/16/sandy-keep-things-light-kids/1709407 . The New Jersey newspaper ran an article about the CDS work at a shelter in Monmouth Park, at www.app.com/viewart/20121115/NJNEWS/311150102/Volunteers-help-give-children-reassurance-Monmouth-Park-shelter . The American Red Cross also posted a story about the work CDS volunteers have done in its shelters, at http://newsroom.redcross.org/2012/11/14/story-volunteers-helping-children .
To help support the work of CDS, donate to the Emergency Disaster Fund at www.brethren.org/edf or mail to Church of the Brethren, Attn: Emergency Disaster Fund, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120.