She and other Children’s Disaster Services volunteers are providing childcare services in Baton Rouge, LA.

Ferrum, Va. (Sept. 2, 2016) – Ferrum College’s Rebecca Austin, of Boones Mill, was mobilized earlier this week to join Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) as a volunteer assisting with flood relief efforts in Baton Rouge, LA. Working in conjunction with the American Red Cross and/or FEMA, the CDS volunteers are providing childcare services so that parents have a safe place to leave their children while they wait in the long lines and fill out the endless paper work needed to apply for aid.

Austin, who has worked for the College’s Blue Ridge Institute & Museum for 17 years, first volunteered and received specialized training for Children’s Disaster Services after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In 2012, she spent two weeks assisting with Hurricane Sandy disaster relief efforts in West Long Branch, NJ. Austin believes that she, as a person who lives in safety and ease, has a responsibility to do what she can to help others when a disaster occurs. She said she is grateful to have an employer that has made it possible for her to volunteer for the CDS relief efforts over the years.

“I hope I can help the children in Baton Rouge work toward processing this disaster,” said Austin shortly before heading south. “One day it may be me who needs help from an organization such as the Red Cross.”

According to its website, Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has been meeting the needs of children by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers across the nation since 1980. Specially trained to respond to traumatized children, volunteers provide a calm, safe and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, wildfires any natural or human caused disaster.