15 February 2018 | W. Derrick Lea, the director of Adventist Community Services Disaster Response (ACS DR) has mobilized the service to help those reeling from the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen were killed and 14 were injured in the shooting.

The Office of Communication of the North American Division of the Adventist denomination reported that Lea spoke with the American Red Cross which is working to find out what the needs of the school might be from disaster response providers.

“We’ve also reached out to the Florida VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters) to ascertain how ACS DR might be of assistance. Things are extremely hectic on the ground and I will be securing information to see if there is need for our services,” said Lea to the NAD.

Lea learned today that the school has personnel to provide emotional and spiritual support in emergency situations. ACS DR is therefore moving to set up a help center at the Pompano Beach Seventh-day Adventist Church. It will be open on Friday night and Sabbath evening (Feb. 16 and 17).

Pompano Beach is the closest Adventist church to the school. “Our local ACS DR plans to offer this help to the community — if people want to come in and talk — with certified emotional and spiritual care providers, and will be prepared to assist if other needs come up,” said Lea.

Samantha Grady, an Adventist student at the Parkland school, was injured in the shooting. Grady was interviewed for a news report on NBC’s Today.com. She and others hid behind furniture during the attack. A friend of Grady’s who attended church with her, did not survive the attack.

The NAD asks Adventists to “keep our communities in prayer.”

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