August 16, 2023

Hello Jesse,

This month brings to a close our response in Cape Breton. It started in October 2022, right after Hurricane Fiona hit. That’s when 123 volunteers from across Canada came to do 179 tree clean-up jobs and 28 roof repair jobs. 


In March of this year, we returned to do interior repair work and more roof repair; a total of 325 volunteers worked on 44 houses and did eight other community projects (painting, brush clearing, weeding, yard clean up, lawn mowing, etc.) Altogether, over 200 families benefited from MDS service in the area.


For all of that, we thank God. And we thank the volunteers and those who donated to make it possible for them to serve—thanks so much! We are also grateful to our partner in the region, the United Way of Cape Breton. Working with them was a delight.


On August 24, we will celebrate our service in Cape Breton with a celebration at the Sydney River United Protestant Church. The event, which will include sharing by families impacted by the storm and our assistance, will be livestreamed at 3 PM Atlantic time. It can be viewed at on the United Way of Cape Breton Facebook page - just click here.


As we are winding down our service in Cape Breton, we are starting up in Lytton, B.C. That down was destroyed by a wildfire in 2021. It’s taken a long time to remediate the site and analyze it archeologically, plus work through all the levels of government assistance and decision-making. But we have finally been given permission to get started. If things work out as we hope, we plan to start building one new home in September. If things go well, we may go back later to build more. Right now, it is not certain what kinds of volunteer needs we will have; check our website in a few weeks to learn more.

Finally, our condolences go out to the family of Ed Reimer of Steinbach, Manitoba. Ed, who died July 28, was an incredible supporter of MDS, together with his wife, Betty. They served 20 times with MDS throughout Canada and the U.S. Most recently they cooked at our Summer Youth Project in Hepburn in 2017. They regularly called the office to check in, encourage us, learn how they could support staff and MDS and organized fundraiser events in Manitoba. His obituary can be viewed here.

Executive Director

Mennonite Disaster Service Canada

MDS monitoring the wildfire

aftermath on Maui

MDS is monitoring and assessing the needs amid the tragic wildfires in Maui, Hawaii, as the death toll nears 100 people and is expected to rise. Officials anticipate search and rescue operations will continue through the week.

MDS has been communicating with its partner organizations—including the Federal Emergency Management Agency and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster—about potential long-term needs on the ground in Maui.

Click here to read more.

Manitoba youth group serves in Red Lake

We arrived late Sunday, July 9th in the afternoon to serve at the Red Lake Nation. It was hit by a tornado in 2021, which brought with it heavy amounts of baseball sized hail and damaged siding and broke windows.

We worked on a total of four houses, taking old broken siding off and putting on house wrap, some new plywood sheets and new siding.

Click here to read more.

New mattress for family "another amazing MDS story"

Repair the roof, replace the second-floor ceiling and walls, new floor due to mold. That was the job given to Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) volunteers at Brianna Fraser’s house in Sydney, Cape Breton.

But volunteers who were working at the single mother’s house in June noticed something else: The mattresses in the children’s bedrooms were musty and old and needed replacing.

Click here to read more

MDS has volunteer opportunities for you!

See the full list of volunteer opportunities when you click here.

  Contact [email protected] or 

call 1-800-241-8111 with any questions or to schedule a week. 

Click here to volunteer
Thank you for your support!

Your continued support helps with recruiting volunteers, moving equipment, setting up accommodations, replenishing supplies, and many other things needed to get going.


MDS in U.S.

583 Airport Road,

Lititz, PA 17543 USA

T: (717) 735-3536

T (toll free): 1-800-241-8111

F: (717) 735-0809

[email protected]

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MDS Canada Office
200-600 Shaftesbury Blvd
Winnipeg, MB Canada R3P 2J1

T: (204) 261-1274
F: (204) 261-1279