Lately, it feels as if storms are all around us. Right now, the Kalamazoo community is weathering its own tragedy of the five young people who were killed in the horrific car accident. These beautiful children, who had their whole lives before them, leave behind devastated parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, friends, and others. As their loved ones and our community deals with these staggering losses, our hearts reach out to them.
Our care and concern also go out to those beyond our Kalamazoo borders.
Our extended CIS family is also much on our minds as they begin the recovery process from the recent hurricanes of Harvey and Irma. CIS affiliates, the CIS staff, the children and families they serve—and their school and community partners and volunteers have been impacted by these storms. In Texas alone, the Texas state office, 11 CIS affiliates, and about 335,000 students enrolled in schools served by those affiliates have been affected. Unfortunately, two young people, CIS alumni who were living out one of the Five CIS Basics—giving back to peers and community—lost their lives while rescuing people. While in service to others, their boat was caught in the flood waters, overturned, and they drowned.
We can think of no more catastrophic event than that of young lives cut short, from the two young men from over a thousand miles away to the five young people here in our midst, we hold you in our hearts.
National CIS has convened a response team at the National Office to determine how best to support students and the staff during the recovery process. If you would like to support CIS affiliates impacted by Hurricane Harvey, go here.