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Who We Are

Mennonite Disaster Service is a volunteer network of Anabaptist churches that responds in Christian love to those affected by disasters in Canada and the United States.  

While the main focus is on clean up, repair and rebuilding homes, this service touches lives and nurtures hope, faith and wholeness.

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MDS All-Unit Meeting 2015

Feb. 13-14, 2015, Hartville, OH

Registration materials coming soon!


Check on what is happening in your Region -

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Region III page

Region IV page

Region V page

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Quilted Wall Hangings

Since November 2004, MDS house dedications include the gift of a quilted wall hanging to the new homeowners. The wall hangings are made and donated through the Mennonite Church USA Mennonite Women's group. If you are a quilter and would like more information on this program, e-mail MDS at communications(at)



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Three weeks after the tornado hit Louisville, MS, MDS volunteers get ready for another day of heavy clean up work.


MDS volunteer, Larry Miller, (right) with clients, Leo and Brenda Kimber as they sign the job card for MDS volunteers to clean up their home. The home, behind them, was severely damaged by a tornado.


MDS volunteers work with heavy equipment to clear debris after the Apr. 28 tornados hit Louisville, MS.

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A prayer for safety and for the survivors of the tornado before the volunteers head out to work another day.


Youth volunteers clean up yards that are covered in rocks and silt.


Wanda, head cook at Jamestown, CO, brought her granddaughter, Taylor, to be an assistant cook for a few weeks.


Putting trusses on Mr. Harry's house in Alakanuk, Alaska.


One of our volunteer groups in Jamestown, CO, this summer.

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MDS volunteers clear trees in West Virginia after a tornado struck the area.

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MDS volunteers use a grapple loader to removed downed trees from this garage in West Virginia.

MDS group responds in West Virginia

Rodney Burkholder, Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Region I Secretary, and five Early Response Team (ERT) members from the Harrisonburg, VA, area cleaned up trees and debris in Ghent, WV, after tornados hit the area on Oct. 7.

Burkholder reports that during their 36-hour whirlwind work trip they saw that, “Structural damage was minimal but tree damage was overwhelming.”

The MDS ERT group was contacted by Jenny Gannaway, West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) chair, in response to a request for help by the Emergency Services Department in Raleigh County.

Describing the work trip, Burkholder said, “I had five energetic young guys with chainsaws and two Bobcats with grapple loaders. We unloaded the equipment early Saturday morning and went to work in a steady drizzle.” The group cleared driveways for homeowners who had been blocked in since the storm and removed downed trees from buildings.

Burkholder said that the homeowners they helped were very grateful. “After we finished opening the long driveway the owner’s wife approached me in tears and thanked me over and over for helping them.”


The group helped over 10 homeowners and a community church clean up their properties. 



MDS featured in new book

Brenda Phillips, PhD, Associate Dean at Ohio University in Chillicothe, has published a new book titled “Mennonite Disaster Service and the Gulf Coast Recovery“ A long-time friend of MDS, she is a widely published author on disaster recovery and socially vulnerable populations and has received numerous awards and recognition. Phillips is donating all of the royalties of book sales to MDS. To order a book at a download an order form here or call the Binational Office, (717) 735-3536. The book will be “library quality,” so consider donating a copy to your church library.



The book has been described as an “academic study and a story—a truly engaging one—of people helping people in a very special way. This is a close up view of those who experienced the destruction of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike and those from the Mennonite Disaster Service who came to help. Together they built a classic therapeutic community. This important book is a valuable resource not only for students and academics who will find rich empirical support for many theoretical concepts, but for anyone who wants to understand and appreciate giving and receiving in disaster recovery.”— Maureen Fordham, Northumbria University 






MDS featured on NBC Nightly News! MDS was featured on the NBC Nightly News on March 29, 2011. To see the story that features our Diamond, La. project, click on the link below:                                                                      


MDS on the News






MDS volunteers are known for repairing and rebuilding homes damaged by disasters. But it takes more than construction skills to serve with MDS. During the time that you serve as a volunteer, you will learn that MDS also restores lives.


Your contribution will help to connect volunteers with disaster survivors who need assistance on their path to recovery. MDS depends on the support of people who believe that disaster response is an important part of helping those who are in need.


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MDS Locations

Mennonite Disaster Service project locations are the physical response centers established by MDS in a disaster-affected community. In addition to housing the local MDS office, the projects function as base camps for MDS volunteers who need a place to eat and sleep while they serve. This section of the MDS website contains updated information about current MDS projects.

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More Project Information

  • Current Projects
  • MDS Offices
  • Completed projects