Linn County Emergency Child Care Centers


By Cassie Huisman

LINN COUNTY - Linn County, HACAP, Area Churches and United Way of East Central Iowa have combined efforts to establish two emergency child care centers for flood-affected families while they are working to clean their homes or businesses. The Linn County Health Department strongly recommends that children NOT enter flood affected homes as they are more susceptible to molds, mildews and bacterias present in these areas.

The emergency child care centers will begin operation on Tuesday, June 24, 2008. They will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with limited capacity. There is no charge for this child care. (However, if parents have a previously arranged child care facility that is open and operating they should continue to use their regular facility.)

The sites for the emergency child care centers are:

* Cedar Rapids First Assembly of God Church, 3233 Blairs Ferry Road N.E. in Cedar Rapids, (west of Sam's Club)
* New Covenant Bible Church, 1800 46th St. N.E. in Cedar Rapids.

The centers will care for newborns through children who are aged 12. To drop a child off at these centers, parents should bring a piece of identification which contains their address to verify that they are in a flood recovery area. They should plan to pick up their children by 3:45 p.m. each day.

Child Care Volunteers Needed
Volunteers are needed to staff these centers. Volunteers must be willing to provide their personal identification information which will be submitted to the state of Iowa's law enforcement system for approval to provide child care. They must also attend a one-hour training session. Some administrative (data entry) duties will also be performed by the volunteers. Approved volunteers will be asked to work from 9:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.

To volunteer to staff these emergency child care centers, call 319/395-0021, extension 239. Please leave your name, telephone number and if available, your e-mail address. You will be contacted by a volunteer coordinator.

Donations Needed

In order to provide this emergency child care service to families affected by the flood, many donations are needed.

Organizers are asking any restaurants in the area to provide lunches to the centers on a day-by-day basis. Accurate counts of meals needed will be provided in the mornings. Organizers noted that no nut-based foods can be accepted because of potential child allergies.

Restaurants who wish to donate lunches may do so by contacting: Jan Kopf, 319/393-6353.

Organizers are also requesting:

* Diapers in various sizes
* Wipes
* Baby food
* Cereal
* Formula
* Hand sanitizers
* "Onesies" in various sizes
* Clean towels and blankets
* New child games, toys and books for children ages 6-12

These donated items can be delivered to: Community Christ Church, 1500 Blairs Ferry Road in Hiawatha, IA., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For after-hour deliveries or if you have questions, please call Pastor Dave Loy at 319/981-9154.

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