CDS Deployments to California, W. Virginia, Mark Record Number So Far This Year

Photo courtesy of CDS
A volunteer with Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) cares for a child who has been affected by disaster.

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) volunteers recently returned from deployments in the areas of Kernville, Calif., and White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. CDS has had a record number of 9 responses so far in 2016, in addition to the Nigeria Healing Hearts response.

In related news, at least two Church of the Brethren districts–Shenandoah District and Virlina District–also have been working with Brethren Disaster Ministries to respond to flooding in West Virginia.


Recent deployments by Children’s Disaster Services

A team from the Southern California CDS responded to the Kern County wildfire, and cared for more than 12 children. The CDS staff is counting the California wildfire response as two different responses, reports associate director Kathleen Fry-Miller, with a second CDS team involved in a national response to a different wildfire in the same area of the state.

In updates on other recent deployments, the CDS team that served in Angleton, Texas, following flooding in the Houston area served 103 children. A CDS team deployed to West Virginia following flooding was asked to serve there through the national American Red Cross.

“We are so appreciative of your kind thoughts and prayers for the children and families affected by disasters this year, as well as our faithful volunteers,” Fry-Miller said.


CDS has two volunteer trainings to highlight this fall:

Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Skyridge Church of the Brethren in Kalamazoo, Mich. (394 S. Drake Rd.). The local contact is Kristi Woodwyk, 616-886-7530 or

Oct. 14-15 at Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren (10047 Nokesville Rd.). The local contact is Sonja Harrell, 703-368-4683 or

More information about CDS workshops and additional training locations can be found on the website


Districts respond to W. Virginia flooding

Shenandoah District has been working with Brethren Disaster Ministries, West Virginia Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “to ensure that we respond in a way that best meets the needs of those affected by the recent flooding,” reported the district newsletter. The district has been helping to provide clean-up buckets to those affected by the flooding, and churches are assembling buckets. Contact Karen Meyerhoeffer at 540-290-3181 for details.

Virlina District also has been encouraging its members and congregations to help provide clean-up buckets, and has been collecting donations toward the disaster response work in W. Virginia.

Currently there is no need for donations of supplies, and no possibilities for individuals to volunteer with clean up efforts in W. Virginia. Brethren Disaster Ministries staff will be evaluating how Brethren may participate in the later long-term recovery process.

Donations to the West Virginia flood recovery may be made to the Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) online at the Brethren Disaster Ministries website. Go to and click on the “Give Now” button.