What Community Looks Like in Selma, Alabama During a Global Pandemic

April 24, 2020
Scott E. Strissel, Executive Director for Christian Services for Children in Alabama Scott E. Strissel, Executive Director for Christian Services for Children in Alabama

Scott E. Strissel, Executive Director for Christian Services for Children in Alabama

When I think about the ways that my community has been affected by this health pandemic, I think about the many foster parents that have spent many faithful years with us helping as many foster children as they can.  Here at Christian Services for Children in Alabama, the foster parents are serving on the front lines along with our steadfast caseworkers making every effort to connect with our children on front porches and at safe distances.

Selma, Alabama is a poor community with a lot of financial and socioeconomic needs.  Many of our foster parents live on or below the poverty level and yet they are a constant line of support to at risk children. They willingly open their doors because they simply love and want to help.  We have had to remind our very independent elderly foster parents that they should remain at home as much as possible, and yet they have had to make their trips to grocery stores and the local Walmart in order to replenish their shelves so that meals continue to be provided to our foster children.  

Our community has banded together like never before in order to extend the care and concern for their neighbors.  We have seen this unity in the grocery store line and on the street, and it reminds us that despite this frightening time, community is home and even under such dark times we will carry on helping people, together.  There is strength and resilience here.  Strength that goes far beyond our economic struggles and reveals us all to be vulnerable humans learning to work together in the midst of the present adversity.  

Our foster parents and caseworkers have all shown this resilience and our mission has never been more galvanized and necessary.  Christian Services for Children in Alabama will get through this...and I know you will too!

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As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for more than 130 years the NBA has continued to serve "the least of these." Learn more at

NBA's Response to COVID-19
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