Manassas Church of the Brethren members have always served the community and the world through their generosity both in spirit and in action. Most recently, this includes helping those in Texas and Florida after the devastating effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
While Hurricanes Harvey & Irma affected nearly everyone in Texas and Florida, perhaps the most affected are the children. While parents stay in shelters, clean-up their homes and neighborhoods, work with emergency aid workers and insurance companies, and try to get their lives back in order, children can be shuffled around from place to place.
This is where the not only the Manassas Church of the Brethren, but the entire Church, comes in. The Church has a program called Children’s Disaster Services, founded in 1980. Workers who volunteer participate in specialized training to help traumatized children, undergo a rigorous screening process, learn to work with children after a disaster, and can mobilize rapidly to respond both locally and nationally. The volunteers provide a calm, safe, and reassuring presence during the chaos created by any natural or human caused disaster.
Volunteers bring a “Kit of Comfort” with them when they go to an affected area. Kits contain imaginative toys, games, and art supplies to keep the children entertained, but also to help them begin to heal. Children’s Disaster Services also provides information to parents on how to help their children move past their fears regarding the damage of Hurricanes Harvey & Irma.
The Manassas Church of the Brethren currently has four members volunteering with Children’s Disaster Services. Mary G., a long-time member and a Deacon at the Church, went to serve the children in San Antonio. She has served on many Children’s Disaster Services trips, from wildfires in California, to flooding in West Virginia. Judy F., who has a long-standing record of serving with disaster response teams to help rebuild areas that have suffered from natural disasters, went to serve in Dallas. This is Judy’s first trip with CDS. Linda T., will also be joining the team shortly. Kim K., who served for Children’s Disaster Services during Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, joined Mary in San Antonio.
While these three ladies are only a small part of the thousands of amazing volunteers who are helping to rebuild Texas and Florida, they are an integral part of the process of healing. Manassas Virginia is a small town filled with kindness and compassion, and these women have shown that through their service to others.
Judy F. and Kim K. Mary G. and Kim K.