Deployment Alert: West Virginia Flooding

We are seeking volunteers for an immediate response to the West Virginia flooding. Anyone who is already certified with Children’s Disaster Services and has 1-2 weeks of availability please e-mail us at or you can contact Kathy Fry-Miller directly at

Day 7: Leaving a Different Orlando

Today I flew home.  I hated leaving when the Family Assistance Center is still open and there are some significant things still happening, but I needed to get back today.  Four members of our team are still there and will continue to care for the children. I drove away from the football and soccer stadium […]

Day 6: Wheelchairs and Boo-boo’s

We have been seeing a lot more of those who are injured coming to the Family Assistance Center.  This is likely due to the fact that they are starting to be discharged from hospitals.  Some come in wheelchairs and many with all sorts of bandages.  And they come supported by their friends and families.  It was […]

Day 5: Numbers Don’t Capture the Story

A few of us went to a local church service this morning before the Family Assistance Center (FAC) opened. Even though I’m an avid news-reader, I have not been reading the news on this horrible event and only learning details from the kids. But I have to tell you, the church put the names of […]

Day 4: Critical Response Team & Wally

Due to the nature of this deployment, these blogposts have been on hold until they have been cleared for release. This has been a super controlled and well organized disaster response as a whole. My teammates who have been on critical response deployments before, say that the response for man-made disasters seems to be more […]

Day 3: Play-Doh Naps

Today started with a press conference where we stood with city officials and the other relief organizations in front of a line of reporters (crazy!).  And then it ended with a nap on top of play-doh. It was a quieter day overall for us in our play space.  One pre-teen girl seemed eager to talk […]

Day 2: I’ve Changed My Mind

So, you guys.  Remember when I said yesterday that I wasn’t completely convinced that leaving lots of responsibilities to come here so quickly was the smartest decision?  Well, I’ve changed my mind. Today was incredible. I want to tell you all the details and reasons why, but security and privacy for the families here on […]

Day 1: Lots I Don’t Know

Today was a long day of travel, and layovers, and mechanical issues on planes, and trying to wrap up details for an all-of-a-sudden week away that I’m not totally convinced I should have taken. But my child life team and boss are amazingly supportive. They have made some real sacrifices to help me be here, […]

Orlando, FL: Mass Shooting Response

Two certified child life specialists who have leadership roles within Child Life Disaster Relief and Children’s Disaster Services are heading to Orlando, FL to assist with children and families affected by the shooting.  Please send positive thoughts and energy to all those affected directly and indirectly, as well as to those working with the victims of this horrific tragedy. […]