Children’s Disaster Services Cares for Children Affected by Texas Storms, Flooding

Photo courtesy of CDS
A Children’s Disaster Services volunteer cares for children at a shelter in Houston, Texas, responding to storms, tornados, and flooding that hit central Texas in May 2015.

“Our Children’s Disaster Services team in Houston is keeping busy,” reported Kathy Fry-Miller, associate director of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS). A CDS volunteer team has been caring for children and families affected by the storms that have hit Texas recently, causing tornados and also widespread flooding in north-central areas of the state.

As of last evening, the CDS volunteer team has made a total of 51 child contacts at the child care center they have set up in a shelter in Houston, Texas. On Sunday the volunteers cared for 17 different children, both morning and afternoon, whose homes “had been lost in a tornado that came through with the storm system,” Fry-Miller said.

The American Red Cross has reported that more than 8,000 homes have been affected by the storms across Texas, with 12 Red Cross shelters open and some 2,000 Red Cross volunteers working in the state. Today, the shelter is moving to another location in Houston and the CDS team will move with the shelter.

“Waters are not yet receding, so shelters will remain open as long as they are needed,” Fry-Miller said. “Late last week,  a number of counties in Texas and Oklahoma received Federal Major Disaster Declarations. The number of counties with this designation continues to rise. For residents, this means more resources are now available to them as they seek assistance for their families.”

The CDS volunteers and the care they provide to children has been making a difference for families at the shelter in Houston. CDS project manager Kathy Howell wrote: “Anyone who had visited the center yesterday or earlier sure saw a world of difference today. They were amazed and so appreciative of our presence. One of the moms was so happy this afternoon to get three hours to herself to run errands. She expressed what a difference it made for her mental health!”

Fry-Miller expressed thanks to volunteers who could go to Texas to serve on short notice and for the additional CDS volunteers who are standing by, ready to help if needed. “And gratitude for the work of the Red Cross in this response,” she added, “as well as the children and families who are sharing and caring even in this time of loss.”

Children’s Disaster Services has been serving children and families affected by disaster since 1980. It is a ministry of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries. For more information go to www.brethren.org/cds .