“We have another team headed out to Houston, Texas, this week, third one this summer,” reports Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) associate director Kathleen Fry-Miller. “I know the people there are getting very weary of all the flooding and water. I’m so grateful that we have volunteers willing to go.”
In related news, the CDS team who served in Orlando following the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub has completed its work caring for children and families affected by the gun massacre. In addition, more CDS volunteers are on alert to respond to the California fires and West Virginia floods, as the American Red Cross determines needs for childcare.
The third team of CDS volunteers to serve in the Houston area this year continues to aid children and families affected by flooding. The five-member team traveled to Houston on June 21. They have set up a childcare center in a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) in Angleton, in the Houston area, in cooperation with the American Red Cross. They are expected to provide services there through Monday, June 27. The team includes project manager Donna Savage, Mary Geisler, Pearl Miller, Vivian Woods, and Myrna Jones.
On the first day of their work, the Houston team served 25 children. Savage reported in a CDS Facebook post that the children were calm and playful. About the team, she said, “We’ve got a great group here!”
The CDS Orlando team has completed its service. As of June 21, the team served 53 children at the Family Assistance Center (FAC) in Orlando, at off-site meetings, and at the hospital. More than 650 individuals were cared for at the FAC, the team reported in a CDS Facebook post.
“It has been an emotional and intense week and a half for everyone involved, including the service providers,” said CDS on Facebook. Project manager John Kinsel said, “It’s been an honor and a blessing to be a part of this.”
The work of CDS received media attention in Orlando, including an interview with team member Erin Silber by WTSP Channel 10 News. Find it at www.wtsp.com/news/local/tampa-volunteer-recounts-helping-orlando-victims-families/247576594 .
Kinsel received a “shout out” on Facebook from Layron Livingston, a reporter with WPLG Local 10, who wrote in a post on June 17: “For my Dayton friends…meet John Kinsel–in Orlando from Beavercreek [Ohio]–helping provide assistance to the children involved in the Orlando shooting… He came over to say, ‘Hello’… As he put it, he heard my voice and looked up saw an old familiar face among the TV cameras during a recent press conference… God Bless Him, and the people with Children’s Disaster Services and the Church of the Brethren.”
For more about the ministry of Children’s Disaster Services go to www.brethren.org/cds