Brethren Disaster Ministries is monitoring the situation in Louisiana and Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura as well as the wildfires affecting northern California. Staff are participating in national coordinating calls and communicating with partner organizations to coordinate any response.
The initial Church of the Brethren response has begun with Children’s Disaster Services (CDS). The Red Cross activated CDS to deploy 600 Individual Kits of Comfort to aid children and families affected by Hurricane Laura and the California wildfires. CDS volunteers are not deploying at this time due to COVID-19 and increased safety precautions set in place. However, thanks to all the donors who have been packing this brand-new kind of kit over the past two months, CDS had enough to ship when the call came.
Individual Kits of Comfort are handed out in shelters to children ages 4 to 10, and will provide creative play opportunities in lieu of CDS teams being deployed. CDS staff continue to work closely with the Red Cross to monitor COVID-19, current disasters, and volunteer involvement, and plan to reinstate in-person deployment when it is deemed safe. Those who would like to help create more Individual Kits of Comfort to be deployed to disasters this fall may contact CDS for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Brethren Disaster Ministries has reached out to leaders in the Church of the Brethren’s Pacific Southwest District. They have shared that, at this time, the fires are not directly threatening churches in the district. However, many people have been affected by the poor air quality due to the smoke.
Donations to the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) will help with any future response to these and upcoming disaster events, and also will help Brethren Disaster Ministries offer financial support for partners like Church World Service (CWS), that are working on the ground to respond. Donations are received at https://churchofthebrethren.givingfuel.com/bdm .
— Jenn Dorsch Messler, director of Brethren Disaster Ministries, contributed this report. Find out more about Brethren Disaster Ministries at www.brethren.org/bdm . Support this work financially at https://churchofthebrethren.givingfuel.com/bdm .
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