Children’s Disaster Services, or CDS, was founded in the year of 1980 as a part of Brethren Disaster Ministries. The job of CDS is to provide comfort to children who have experienced traumatizing events. Volunteers construct care centers specifically for children. The people who work at CDS are taught how to work with children who have experienced recent trauma, and to give them the comfort they need. Volunteers at CDS have a “Kit of Comfort” in their arsenal. The kit is filled with toys that spark a child’s imagination. Each child is given special treatment to help them start to move past what has happened to them. CDS will also give the parents of traumatized children educational and therapeutic tools. This information will help parents to better understand their children’s needs during or after a traumatic incident, to help them recover emotionally.
Part of the Church of the Brethren’s work has always been taking care of children. In 1979, Disaster Response Director R. Jan Thompson saw families standing in line for disaster help. It was hot while waiting in line, there was no food or water available, and people were constantly fighting. Thompson realized that the church needed a different approach for helping children and families who were affected by disasters. The idea for Children’s Disaster Services was started the following year, creating volunteer workshops. In May 1980, CDS supplied volunteers to help children who were affected by a tornado. This was CDS’s very first disaster response effort, and they weren’t slowing down anytime soon. More than 3,100 volunteers have helped over 87,800 children who were impacted by 230 disasters.
The Critical Response Childcare, or CRC, is a more skillful group of volunteers that works with CDS. These volunteers have been given extra training to get them ready to help children who have experienced traumatic incidents involving casualties. Following a mass casualty event, the volunteers are dispatched as fast as possible. After showing up, they provide aid to those who were affected by what happened. CDS has joined forces with the American Red Cross to help as many children who have experienced such disasters. With the company and activities provided by a caring volunteer, these children will be on the road to healing much quicker, and will make the volunteer’s effect on the child that much more impactful.
As part of its efforts to help children, CDS provides rigorous training for its volunteers. The training consists of 25-hour workshops where potential volunteers are taught how to give children the relief they need through solace and nurturing. Volunteers need to be taught how to produce a setting for children that makes them feel safe. They are also taught special types of play that provide healing benefits for children. As part of the workshop, participants will get the opportunity to help children through a pretend shelter visit. Upon completing the workshop, participants will officially become certified Children’s Disaster Services volunteers. If you’re thinking of becoming a volunteer and want more information, click on these links:https://www.brethren.org/cds/training/, https://www.brethren.org/cds/training/dates/.
If you care about helping children, then it would be great for you to support this organization. To find out how, click here: https://churchofthebrethren.givingfuel.com/cds.
Services, C. D. (2022). Ministries. Children's Disaster Services. Retrieved April 12, 2022, from https://www.brethren.org/cds/
Services, C. D. (2022). About children's disaster services. Children's Disaster Services. Retrieved April 12, 2022, from https://www.brethren.org/cds/about/
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