January 18, 2023

Hello Jesse,

Big disasters hit the news in a big way. The pictures can be dramatic, the stories harrowing and heartbreaking.  

That's what happened in California, where parts of that state received a whole year worth of rain in 16 days. The snowpack in some of the Sierra Nevadas is up to 288% of normal. 

Stories like these are dramatic and ominous and stick with us—until another disaster story hits the news and our attention is drawn elsewhere. That's how news cycles work when reporting about disasters. But it’s not quite how MDS works. 

While we sometimes engage in some of the early response work—mucking out flooded homes or clearing trees and repairing roofs after a windstorm—we are one of the only groups that does longer term repair and rebuilding after disasters. This means we intentionally work not to forget those whose lives were upended by things like floods, tornados, hurricanes, fires or storms. 


One disaster in Canada that has disappeared from the news is the fire that burned the town of Lytton, B.C. in 2021. Many people have forgotten about it, but we haven’t. We know there were many uninsured homeowners there who lost their houses.

It’s taken a long time for the town to be ready to rebuild, and now our B.C. Unit is looking to start work there by building one new house. With new building codes, a new town council, and new regulations, we want to do start with one house to see how smoothly the process goes. After that, we will consider whether a larger response is called for.


We have also not forgotten Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It was hit by Hurricane Fiona back in September, last year. We worked in the greater Sydney area in the fall, clearing trees and repairing roofs. Some of the houses were so water damaged they need a complete rebuild inside. We are making plans to return there this spring—because we don’t want to forget, even when the news cycle has moved on.


As we plan for the upcoming season, I want to welcome Rose Klassen to our staff team. Rose is taking over the Volunteer Manager role as Kelsey has just begun her maternity leave. We look forward to being in touch with you to ensure we don’t forget those who are yet looking for hope to be restored.

Director of Operations

Mennonite Disaster Service Canada

God shows His goodness,

even in times of disaster

In the many years of serving with MDS, I have been reminded time and time again that the work we do is for the glory of God and because of the love of God, through his son Jesus Christ. God shows his goodness through his people even in times of disasters.

Click here to read more.

"It's like you gave them a big hug"

Ten weeks, 179 tree clean-up jobs and 28 roof repair or rebuild jobs. That’s what 133 MDS Canada volunteers did this fall in Antigonish and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in response to Hurricane Fiona.

The hurricane struck the province September 24, blowing down thousands of trees and damaging homes. The Cape Breton region of Nova Scotia, where MDS was active, was particularly hard-hit.

Click here to read more.

MDS has volunteer opportunities for you this winter and spring in the U.S. You can see the full list of volunteer opportunities when you click here.

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 Binational Office
583 Airport Road,
Lititz, PA 17543 USA

T: (717) 735-3536
T (toll free): 1-800-241-8111
F: (717) 735-0809
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MDS Canada Office
200-600 Shaftesbury Blvd
Winnipeg, MB Canada R3P 2J1

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