Current News

2019 Spring Storms Response

March 8, 2019

2018 Lee County, Alabama Tornado

What is the MDS response to the Lee County, Alabama Tornado? 

MDS sent in an investigation team to Macon, Barbour and Lee counties to determine the needs and how MDS can be most helpful.

Search and rescue efforts have been wrapped up and everyone is accounted for.

Permits to travel in Lee County are still required and only last for 24 hours.

Crisis Cleanup has an 1800 hotline for homeowners who need assistance.

59 people have registered with FEMA, and Red Cross has completed 296 damage assessments through March 7, 2019. 161 of the assessed homes are single family, and 135 are mobile homes.  The total number of assessed homes is broken down further; 69 were destroyed, 30 received major damage, 103 had minor damage, and 94 were affected in other ways.  

Due to the large influx of volunteers and volunteer agencies already responding, MDS will hold off with our efforts.

However, there are multiple MDS teams on standby with heavy equipment and chainsaws, ready to do general debris cleanup as called.

MDS continues to respond long term in 17 other locations across the United States and Canada. 

How can I donate? There are two ways to donate to MDS:

Give online. Click here for US donations or here for Canadian donations. On the next page, select “2019 Spring Storms” from the dropdown menu.

If donors would prefer to send a check, mail cash/checks, payable to “Mennonite Disaster Service” with “2019 Spring Storms” on the memo line to: Mennonite Disaster Service, 583 Airport Rd, Lititz, PA 17543

What does MDS do with the donations?

Your gifts help MDS clean-up, repair and rebuild homes in the hurricane-affected areas. Donations cover the costs of tools, equipment and vehicles and support volunteers with food, accommodations and transportation to the work site.  

 How much of my contribution goes to the recovery effort?

90 cents of each dollar goes to the hurricane recovery effort. 10 cents of each dollar goes to support administrative costs. This includes hired staff who recruit and assign volunteers, manage operations and tools and equipment, manage the receipt donations, keep the public informed and connected to MDS, and manage all of the expenses associated with the recovery.

 Is MDS accepting clothing, food, water and other material aid?

MDS is unable to accept material aid gifts. Cash is best. You don’t have to inventory it, warehouse it, ship it or sort it. Plus, it stimulates the local economy to make local purchases.

 Do we only help Mennonites? Do you have to be a Mennonite to volunteer?

We are a faith-based organization, but we help anyone regardless of their faith. MDS gives priority to those with unmet needs and who, without assistance, would not have the means to recover. Also, one does not need to be Mennonite or express a statement of faith in order to volunteer for a week.