Frederick Church Hosts Children’s Disaster Services Volunteer Workshop

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) is offering a workshop to train volunteers on Friday, Oct. 30, at 5 p.m., to Saturday, Oct. 31, at 7:30 p.m., at Frederick Church of the Brethren, 201 Fairview Avenue, Frederick, Md.

The workshop is in response to the need to have Children’s Disaster Training in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Frederick Church of the Brethren offers many opportunities for individuals to volunteer to rebuild homes through Brethren Disaster Ministries. This workshop is an opportunity for those who cannot do construction work to be able to volunteer by serving families after a disaster.

Children’s Disaster Services has been meeting the needs of children since 1980, working cooperatively with FEMA and the American Red Cross to provide care for children and families following disasters. Children’s Disaster Services is a part of Brethren Disaster Ministries.

CDS volunteers provide a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos that follows disaster, by setting up and operating special child care centers in disaster locations. Parents are then able to apply for assistance and begin to put their lives back together, knowing their children are safe.

Information learned at the volunteer workshop can be beneficial to anyone working with children. The CDS workshops train participants to understand and respond to children who have experienced a disaster. The training is designed for people who have a heart and passion for children, and will help participants recognize and understand the fears and other emotions children experience during and following a disaster. Participants also learn how child-led play and various art mediums can start the healing process in children. Participants will experience a simulated shelter, sleeping on cots and eating simple meals.

Once the training is completed, participants have the opportunity to become a certified Children’s Disaster Services volunteer by providing two personal references and completion of background checks. Although many volunteers are motivated by faith, CDS workshops are open to anyone over 18 years of age.

Cost for attending the workshop is $45 for registration before Oct. 9, and $55 for registrations made after that date. Scholarships for registration fees are available from CDS for those with limited personal resources. Many organizations choose to offer partial or full scholarships as a way of showing their support for volunteer service. The fee covers costs of the Volunteer Training Manual and a portion of the administrative costs for travel, materials, and processing new volunteers. When needed, scholarships are available for the background checks required for certification.

To register visit . For more information, contact Jim Dorsch, the local CDS coordinator, at 301-698-9640 or or go to . The Children’s Disaster Services office may be contacted at or 800-451-4407 ext. 5.