Storms
5:40 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Resource center opens for Gifford recovery

Residents in the Champaign County town of Gifford are getting additional help after last week’s tornado.  Officials opened a resource center that offers a single destination for donated items and access to social service agencies. As parents take advantage of these services, children are also getting extra help.

 BOWLBY: “There you go. There you go. You got it. You got it now.”

 Elroy Bowlby helps two young children fill bubble making solution into a toy. Bowlby is a volunteer with Children's Disaster Services. The group that sets up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers across the country, like this one at the Gordyville auction house in Gifford.Rosie Brandenburg with Children's Disaster Services says her volunteers are doing much more than just keeping an eye on these kids.

 BRANDENBURG: “We’re trying to help them communicate and heal and recover through play. We use sand…er…rice. We have paint therapy. We just sit and listen. It’s the way kids communicate is through play.”

 Each child and guardian is given a wrist band to match them up.Brandenburg says all kids who experience tragedy, like a tornado, react at different times and in different ways, and that it’s important to give them a way of expressing their stress.