Friday, July 23, 2010

CDS helps train Catholic Charities volunteers to address oil spill needs.

Children’s Disaster Services, a Church of the Brethren program, is helping to train volunteers of Catholic Charities in the Gulf region to address oil spill needs related to children. A grant of $5,000 has been requested from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund to support the effort.

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico is impacting the fishing, seafood, and tourism industries, and the businesses that provide them support, noted the grant request. "As the oil spill continues into its third month more families find themselves caught in an economic and mental health crisis. There is no end in sight for the economic impact of this environmental disaster."

The Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans has opened five Oil Spill Relief Centers where those affected can access free counseling and apply for emergency assistance, CDS staff reported. As of mid-July the organization has assisted over 17,000 people and has distributed more than $593,000 worth of food vouchers, food and baby supplies, and direct assistance, with the anticipation that there will be an ongoing need for these centers.

Because school is out for the summer, children often accompany their parents to the Oil Spill Relief Centers, presenting the need for care for children as parents apply for aid or receive counseling. Catholic Charities is working with volunteers, deacons, and others who have started planning activities for children. Children’s Disaster Services is providing training for the National Community Civilian Corps (AmeriCorps) workers who will care for the children in three of the centers.

"It is anticipated that another group of NCCC volunteers will replace the first group in six weeks," said the CDS report. "They will need training as well."

Source: 7/23/2010 Newsline

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