Several volunteer workshops are sponsored this March and April by Children’s Disaster Service (CDS), a ministry of the Church of the Brethren that cares for children and families following disasters through the work of trained and certified volunteers.
Since 1980, CDS has met 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, CDS volunteers provide a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by natural or human-caused disasters.
The volunteer workshops offer training in care for children who have experienced disasters. Hosted by local congregations, the workshops also offer participants a taste of living conditions in disaster-affected areas as they sleep overnight in church facilities. Once participants complete a workshop and undergo a rigorous screening process, they may apply for certification to serve with CDS as a volunteer. Although many volunteers are motivated by faith, CDS training is open to anyone over 18 years old.
|Photo by Lorna Grow|
|CDS volunteer Pearl Miller reads with a child in Joplin, Missouri, following severe tornadoes|
Cost is $45 for early registration (three weeks prior to start date). The fee includes meals, curriculum, and one overnight. Cost for registrations mailed less than three weeks in advance is $55. The retraining fee is $25.
Workshops are limited to 25 participants. CDS encourages early registration, as registration numbers are used to assess whether to go ahead with workshops when there may be low attendance. A Volunteer Workshop Registration Form in pdf format is available at www.brethren.org/cds .
Following are dates, locations, and local contacts for the Spring workshops:
— March 9-10, Thoburn United Methodist Church, St. Clairsville, Ohio (contact Linda Hudson, 740-695-4258).
— March 9-10, Dallas Center (Iowa) Church of the Brethren (contact Carol Hill, 515-677-2389 or 515-240-6908).
— March 16-17, Snellville (Ga.) United Methodist Church (contact Mike Yoder, 404-597-2137, or Carrie Yoder, 770-634-3627).
— March 16-17, New Carlisle (Ohio) Church of the Brethren, (contact Rita Lane, 937-845-2066 or 937-657-7325).
— March 16-17, South Haven, Minn. This is a special workshop in conjunction with a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Disaster Response Academy (March 14-17) at the Koinoina Retreat Center. Fees are as follows: Disaster Response Academy and CDS workshop $170-$200; CDS workshop only (five meals plus lodging Thursday and Friday) $95 if registering by Feb. 8 or $105 after that date; CDS workshop only (four meals plus lodging Friday night only) $55 if registering by Feb. 8 or $65 after that date (contact coordinator Lorna Jost, 605-692-3390 or 605-695-0782).
— March 23-24, Cerro Gordo (Ill.) Church of the Brethren (contact Rosie Brandenburg, 217-763-6039).
— March 24-25, La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren (contact Kathy Benson, 909-593-4868 or 909-837-7103).
— April 13-14, Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren (contact Lavonne Grubb, 717 367-7224 or 717 368-3141).
— April 27-28, Center Church of the Brethren, Louisville, Ohio (contact Sandra Humphrey, 330-603-9073 or leave a message at 330 875-2064).
For more information about Children’s Disaster Services go to www.brethren.org/cds or call the CDS office at 410-635-8735 or 800-451-4407 option 5. To be notified of upcoming workshops, send an e-mail with your name, address, and e-mail address to CDS@brethren.org .