Children’s Disaster Services responds to Missouri and Iowa tornadoes

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) volunteer Bill Grove cares for a child at a MARC following a spate of tornadoes that caused devastation in several states. Photo courtesy of CDS

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has begun a response to the tornadoes that devastated areas of Missouri and Iowa in recent days. CDS is a program of Brethren Disaster Ministries that since 1980 has been meeting the needs of children and families by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers. CDS volunteers are specially trained to respond to traumatized children by providing a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by disasters.

“We have a team in the MARC [multi-agency resource center] in Jefferson City, Mo.,” said CDS associate director Lisa Crouch. “They saw 58 children yesterday [May 30] on the opening day of the center. Today is a shorter day, and tomorrow they move to nearby Eldon, Mo., for the final day of the current resource center. We have five CDS volunteers currently responding.”

CDS also responded to a MARC in Davenport, Iowa, last week, Crouch reported. However, the volunteer team there saw much lower numbers of children, with only five children served.

“Overall, CDS is monitoring the severe weather situation across the US and along with the Red Cross continues to assess needs for childcare in the heavily affected areas,” Crouch said.

A grant of $5,000 has been requested from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) for initial work by Brethren Disaster Ministries and CDS in response to the Missouri tornadoes and other recent storms. The money will fund staff and volunteer travel to support relief efforts including CDS volunteer travel for the Missouri response. To donate to this effort go to .

Find a MissouriNet news report on the situation in Jefferson City and Eldon, Mo., listing CDS among the responding groups, at .

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