When a natural disaster strikes such as Hurricane Sandy or most recently the Oklahoma tornado, how do you respond? There are those who go on social media such as Facebook and Twitter to express their thoughts and send out prayers. While there are others who sit patiently by the television and wait for an update from their local news broadcast. Finally, you who have those who decide to throw themselves into action. However you chose to respond, natural disasters affect us all.
While browsing the comments on the CWS Facebook and Twitter pages I am amazed by those reflecting on the work of CWS. “They were instrumental to us in Vermont after Irene hit, and they are a charity I trust implicitly” or “The part about CWS I like is that they stick around even after the initial disaster”. CWS has the reputation of being there when it matters most and “sticking around” even after everyone else has left. CWS is long term.
There is something to be said about CWS volunteers. When disaster strikes they are the first to say “how can I help” or “where should I donate.” The youth at Gilead Congregational Church in Gilead, Connecticut, decided that they needed to go into action after seeing the devastating hurricane that hit the northeast shores this past fall. As a community, Gilead raised $750 for the CWS Blankets+ Program and its Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts. With a youth vs. adults basketball game held at a local elementary school, Gilead took action while raising awareness for CWS. “It was a nice experience to come together as a community and work together to make a difference” said the Minister of Mission and Faith Formation, Stephanie Haines.
There are thousands more stories just like Gilead, CT, of CWS volunteers coming together in response to a natural disaster. They are putting together Clean-up Buckets, Hygiene Kits and Baby Care Kits. They are taking special Sunday offerings for CWS. CWS volunteers respond in many ways. They can be counted on. How will you respond?
Krista Connelly, Assistant Regional Director, New England