Disciples News Service

Ministries joining together for children in need

Children's Disaster Services

Disciples Home Missions (DHM), Week of Compassion, and the National Benevolent Association (NBA) of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) are collaborating with the Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) to create a new position and initiative that will meet the needs of children affected by disaster in the U.S.

A new memorandum of understanding outlines this partnership providing the framework for a three-year focus on expanding Children’s Disaster Services in the Gulf Coast region. Funding provided by Disciples Home Missions, the National Benevolent Association, and Week of Compassion will develop a new role of a Gulf Coast coordinator. This new position will support the development and training of a larger network of volunteers in Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana. By engaging the strength and networks of Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregations and their significant children’s ministries we envision great potential to better meet the needs of children in this disaster prone area.

This new partnership includes the training of interested church members and others in the area as caregiving volunteers and for leadership roles supporting volunteer coordination and volunteer training. A primary goal of this initiative is to train 250 potential volunteers in the next three years. After completing a certification process – including a criminal record check – these volunteers will provide direct care to children in shelters and service centers after a disaster. The volunteers will be organized into rapid response teams to be the first caregivers responding after a disaster in their area. These volunteers will also be called to serve larger disasters outside of the region.

The regional Gulf Coast coordinator role is key for the success of this initiative. This part-time paid position will network with potential partners, engage congregations, and help facilitate new volunteer workshops. It is vital that they live in a Gulf Coast state. For more information please contact Kathy Fry-Miller at 410-635-8734 or kfry-miller@brethren.org.

“The Church of the Brethren is excited for this expanding partnership between the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Children’s Disaster Services. For several years our two churches have been in conversations on how to work together as peacemakers. I can think of no better way than for our volunteers to join their gifts and talents in providing a caring service ministry for children affected by disaster. It is a ministry that seeks to reconcile the lives of some of the most vulnerable victims after disaster, the children,” shared Stanley Noffsinger, Church of the Brethren General Secretary.