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Recognizing hope that inspires

January 26, 2017

Detroit, MI – A ceremony recognizing two and a half years of flood response work by Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) in the Detroit neighborhood of Osborn was held January 20, 2017 at the Christian Community Fellowship Church (CCF) in Osborn.

The event, which featured presentations and remarks from local homeowners, church and MDS leaders, signaled the completion of the MDS flood response in the area which saw more than 1,000 MDS volunteers working on 95 home repairs and 326 home clean ups.

Mary Lloyd, Disaster Case Manager and a member of the Southeast Michigan Long Term Recovery Organization said the presence of MDS gave people hope in the midst of disaster.

Mary Lloyd speaking at the MDS commemoration ceremony earlier this month.

“It is important for you to know that you have encouraged, you’ve inspired, you’ve given us hope when we didn’t have it,” she said at the event. “And because of that we see now what we have to do to help ourselves.”

MDS executive director, Kevin King, on the behalf of MDS volunteers, received a Certification of Appreciation from CCF church, where MDS volunteers were lodged during their stays, as well as a plaque from the Eastside Mothers Club and the Emergency Neighborhood Outreach Food organization.

Both organizations were MDS partners in the effort to revitalize and bring hope to homeowners impacted by the flooding which took place in August 2014.

One of the homeowners present at the ceremony, Malaika Nsoimoa, expressed her thanks and said it was the spirit driven love from volunteers that touched her most.

“What really impressed me was the love that was demonstrated by all the people that came to assist and we had all kinds of people, the Amish, and people I have never met before in life,” she said.

Community Christian Fellowship presents MDS with a Certification of Appreciation plaque for the work done in the Detroit community.

She added “it was a blessing, all though it was a disaster. There were many blessings that came out of it. I had the opportunity to experience the goodness of human nature.”

Throughout the project volunteers helped to clean and rebuild basements so water could be prevented from flooding in again. In addition to construction the work consisted of mucking out and cleaning the flooded areas followed by the replacing of flooring and interior walls.

The Detroit project began in late 2014 after six inches of rain fell in the area within a few hours and flooded tens of thousands of basement with water mixed sewage. Home that were not immediately cleaned out developed serious mold conditions causing health risks to residents.

Residents who were unable to clean their basements, such as the elderly, disabled, and those under insured or lacking insurance, were assisted by MDS volunteers.

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