Mennonite Disaster Service is a volunteer network through which various constituencies of the Anabaptist church can respond to those affected by disasters in Canada and the United States.
While our main focus is on clean up, repair and rebuilding homes, this activity becomes a means of touching lives and helping people regain faith and wholeness.
The RV Program is set-up to provide assistance in areas where a full MDS project is not warranted. It was conceived in order to utilize volunteers who are able to work a shortened week of 24 hours and live in their own self-contained recreational vehicles.
The program is set up for volunteers to work in increments of four-week duration, and work weeks of four days, six hours per day. The design is to attract retired or semi-retired volunteers who, for various reasons, desire to work fewer hours than a traditional MDS camp setting of 40-45 hours weekly. MDS provides free-of-charge the RV parking site with full hookups including a minimum of thirty AMP electrical services, a water hookup and a means of black and gray water disposal. In addition, volunteers may request a fuel (diesel or gas) reimbursement for travel according to the MDS RV Program guidelines. Where possible, laundry services and telephone hookups are provided. RV participants prepare their own meals and need to have kitchen, toilet and shower facilities in their RV. When a couple volunteers together to work on an MDS RV project, one spouse is expected to work. The other spouse is encouraged, but not required to work.
Each RV project is organized with a Project Director and an Office Manager. The project accepts work assignments from local disaster recovery committees who are part of the local community. An RV team has been able to build a new home in 2-3 months time.
Volunteers involved in the RV Program are expected to be participants in a Christ-centered home church and accept the Anabaptist peace stance.
Fall 2015 RV locations
Long-term recovery groups (LTRG) in 3 locations have specifically asked for MDS RV folks to return this year.
Bastrop, Texas (Urgent for Aug 30-October 9, 2015)
Many RV volunteers served in Bastrop; rebuilding homes after the Labor Day Weekend fires in 2011. Earlier this year Bastrop was once again hit hard; this time by heavy rains and flooding. The LTRG was back in action and quickly identified close to 50 displaced homeowners who need assistance before they can move back into their homes. This is a very urgent need. The funding is in place and the LTRG would like MDS to get started at the end of August so the work can be done before the funding for the LTRG (who will support the work of MDS) runs out in October. Work will mostly be inside and includes repairing the bottom four feet of rooms; insulating, hanging drywall, painting and laying down flooring. The MDS RV camp will be setup at the Lost Pines RV Park. This is the same park MDS occupied last year.
Pensacola, Florida (October 11-December 3)
The needs in Pensacola continue after the April 2014 floods. MDS RV volunteers are once again invited to return to repair flood damaged homes.
Walton County, Florida (October 11-December 3)
From January to April 2015 MDS RV volunteers repaired many homes that were heavily damaged by the April 2014 floods. There are more homes that need to be repaired and people are anxious for the RV volunteers to return.
US volunteers interested in the RV program contact Alicia Hurst at (717)735-3536 or ahurst(at)mds.mennonite.net. Canadian volunteers interested in the RV program contact Evelyn Peters-Rojas at (866) 261-1274 or epetersrojas(at)mds.mennonite.net.
All interested volunteers from the U.S. or Canada need to have an application on file in order to be approved for MDS service in the RV Program. Applications may be downloaded from this website. Click on the link below to download the appropriate application. The RV Program Coordinators are available to answer questions and assist in planning.
Those who have previously worked on an RV project need not submit a new application. However, to volunteer again you need to keep the RV Program Coordinators informed of the dates of your availability.
Travel Reimbursement Policy
Long-Term and RV Application
Statement of Shared Convictions
RV VOLUNTEERS EARN AWARD
Marilyn and Don Buller receive their award from Marcus Lemonis, CEO of the Good Sam Club.
Long-time MDS volunteers, Don and Marilyn Buller, were honored by the Good Sam club as RVers of the Year for 2011. Click on the link below for more information.
The fall Marble Falls RV Project House in progress.