The US and Canada didn’t see a huge Sandy-sized hurricane in 2014, or another mega-disaster that dominated the news media. However, MDS staff and volunteers would beg to differ when people make reference to a “slow year”.
MDS volunteers worked throughout the year to continue the repair and rebuilding of homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, by fires in Texas and Colorado, by floods in Alberta, Colorado, Minnesota and Florida, and by tornados in Mississippi.
Volunteers also responded to many new disasters that didn’t make the front page of the paper or the evening news. In late April two days of tornados tore through the south-central US. Hundreds of homes were damaged and destroyed in Mississippi and Arkansas. MDS sent Early Response Teams (ERT) with heavy equipment to clear trees and debris and followed with a rebuilding project.
Countless towns endured tornados, straight-line winds, severe snow storms, flooding and fires. MDS volunteers responded to their neighbors in need, clearing debris and rebuilding homes.
In August heavy rains in Detroit caused basement flooding in thousands of homes. MDS volunteers continue to work to muck out and sanitize basements that are becoming moldy and are causing health problems for residents.
In November hundreds of MDS volunteers traveled to New York to shovel out their neighbors who were hit by a historic snowfall.
MDS is thankful for the many hours our volunteers gave and thankful to our donors whose financial gifts make our work possible. As you celebrate Christmas please continue to remember those affected by disasters, who are not in their homes for Christmas.
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