CDS helps care for children and families among asylum seekers in Chicago area

By Carolyn Neher

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) deployed a team of three volunteers to Oak Park, Ill., to aid children and families among asylum seekers who have been sent to Chicago from the southern border of Texas. The team served from Monday, Nov. 6, to Thursday, Nov. 9, caring for 51 children.

Chicago is a sanctuary city and has been receiving both buses and airplanes filled with asylum seekers sent by Texas. The city of Chicago requested Oak Park to house 150 people for a week while they worked to get more permanent housing as the weather is turning colder.

Since 1980 Children’s Disaster Services, a program of Brethren Disaster Ministries, has been meeting the needs of children by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers across the nation. Specially trained to respond to traumatized children, volunteers provide a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural and human-caused disasters.

— Carolyn Neher is associate director of Children’s Disaster Services, a ministry of the Church of the Brethren. Find out more at Support the work of CDS with financial gifts at


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