Two years is a long time, especially if you are living only in the small second floor of your home because the first floor was flooded by nine feet of water during Hurricane Sandy. It’s also a long time to share living space with a relative or another family until your home is safe to move into.
Two years after parts of the East Coast were devastated by the winds and water of Hurricane Sandy and many families are still displaced. Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) volunteers continue working to repair and rebuild homes in the hard-hit communities of Far Rockaway, NY, (Queens) and Crisfield, MD.
Over two thousand MDS volunteers have worked in these two communities since the storm. The tally of jobs completed in Far Rockaway is over 100, but what each job means to a homeowner’s life is what matters.
Marj Weber, Volunteer Office Manager for the MDS project in Far Rockaway reported on some of the work MDS volunteers completed last week.
“Our client, Ms. Karen, was thrilled with the work MDS did for her. She now has a landing outside her door, and steps up to it that are passable for herself and her friends. Previously, neighbors and friends were reluctant to use the rickety ones that were there.
We also built a ramp for Ms. Grace. Ms. Grace, who is in a wheelchair, was able to come outside for the first time in a long while, because a ramp was built for her.”
MDS also has active rebuilding projects in Jamestown, CO, High River, AB, Pensacola, FL and Hattiesburg and Louisville, MS.
Click here to read the New York Times article about MDS work in Far Rockaway.
See more photos of Crisfield, MD, or Far Rockaway, NY, on the MDS Facebook page.
A short video of Crisfield, MD, shows MDS' ongoing work in that community.
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