Resources

Raising Awareness

Help us raise awareness about the work of MDS and the need for disaster preparedness.

  • Share your MDS storyClick here to add your MDS story to others talking about what it means to be part of MDS. Your story will be a great resource for others, inspiring them to respond to disasters through Christian love.
  • Hold an MDS event in your community.  Contact an MDS office for more information about brochures, DVDs and more. In Canada write us at mdscn@mds.mennonite.net. In the US write to mdsus@mds.mennonite.net.
  • Disaster preparedness. There are many ways to learn about disaster preparedness in your community click the links to learn more from ready.gov and preparednessguide.org. Prepare. Plan. Stay informed.

Congregational Resources

Our congregational partners are vital to providing quick response to disasters, supporting local communities, and recruiting support when needed. We appreciate your church’s involvement and prayers as MDS seeks to assist people in need with Christian love.

We are here to help you become part of MDS.

If you have additional questions, please contact us through our Contact page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes disasters?

Disasters are commonly caused by fire, flood, tornado, hurricane and earthquake. A disaster can happen at any time and most any place, but there are times and places when a disaster is more likely to occur.
Fires occur most common in the western parts of the U.S. and Canada following long dry spells.
Floods occur year-round when heavy rains or melting snow or the combination of both cause rivers and tributaries to rise.

Tornadoes are most common in the mid-section of the U.S. and Canada and the southern U.S. during seasonal weather changes, such as late fall and during late winter and through spring and early summer.
Hurricane season affects coastal areas of the southern and eastern coastal U.S and eastern Canada from June through November.

The West Coast of the U.S. is currently at the most risk for earthquakes.

How can I help in disaster response?

You can support MDS through volunteering your time or making a donation.
As a volunteer, you will be rewarded with an experience that fosters both personal and spiritual growth.
As a donor, your financial contribution to MDS will be used for volunteer support.
MDS has volunteer opportunities include serving on an MDS project for one week helping to repair or build a house, or as volunteer leadership, serving for one month or longer.

What does the MDS logo represent?

The MDS logo displays a handshake in front of a cross.
The cross is a the center of our logo because Christ is at the center of our work. MDS volunteers serve in Christian love.

The handshake in the MDS logo represents the primary relationship between MDS volunteers and the clients we serve. Effective disaster response begins with working partnerships between organizations, agencies and individuals. Many of these partnerships begin and end with a handshake.

Inviting a Speaker

Help us tell about MDS’ mission and work by having one of our staff members speak to your congregation. We would love to share about what God is doing in the lives of those affected by disaster, about our volunteers, and about how the work of our volunteers’ hands impact local communities as well as individual survivors.

Please visit our staff information section to learn more about our speakers, and please consider inviting us to your congregation to share the good work God is doing.

Volunteer Resources

Volunteers are the most important people in the MDS network. Through you, the love of Christ can be expressed. We aim to provide you everything you need to best serve those affected by natural or man-made disaster.

Volunteer Contact

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation please call: In the U.S. (800) 241-8111. In Canada: (866) 261-1274

Current Volunteer Information

MDS has additional information available for volunteers. Some of these items are list below. Most, although not all, are available through the Field Guide Login at the bottom of each web page:

  • Project leader contact information
  • Project directions
  • Early Response Team (ERT) information
  • Medical release for minors
  • Canadian STV registration
  • Reimbursement forms
  • MDS Field Guide
  • Volunteer Guide (Available without logging in)
  • Vehicles, Tools, Equipment information
  • Procedures and agreements

Please log in to the internal volunteer site to view these documents and more.

How We Can Help

We have downloadable images showing project updates on our Pressroom page. Please download and use any image to tell our story. Project pages and our News page will have the most recent updates to provide you the current information to use. You can submit your own story for news consideration by using the Submit a Story section of the contact page.

Want someone from MDS to share our story? Several staff members are ready and willing to speak on behalf of MDS to your church or group. Speaker information is available with our staff information.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re considering volunteering with MDS, you might have some questions. Check below to see if we have answered them here. If not, please use the contact page to submit your question.

If you are a current volunteer, please note your question may be answered on one of the documents viewable in the internal volunteer site. Please log in to view these documents.

Can I choose to be involved with a specific project?

If you have completed the volunteer registration form and the volunteer application which was emailed to you, MDS staff will work to connect you with any ongoing project of your choice. However, sometimes areas have urgent needs, projects become temporarily closed, or teams fill up before we receive your application. Please stay in communication with us to see the next available dates when you can serve, or be flexible on which location you prefer.

Is MDS only for persons from Mennonite churches or backgrounds?

No, MDS invites persons from all faith backgrounds to serve with us. In some cases, Mennonite, Amish and Brethren in Christ groups may be given priority.

What amenities does MDS provide on site?

MDS provides sleeping accommodations for volunteers, though that location type can vary from hospitals to churches, convents, schools, malls, camps and even empty houses. MDS also covers meals and ensures there’s room to shower and sanitize.

Do I need construction experience or tools?

Unless otherwise noted in a job description, volunteers do not need construction trade experience, though it is very appreciated. MDS values teaching volunteers new skills needed to get the job done. Similarly, if you have tools you may bring them, but MDS will have tools on each project site.

When I designate my donation, how much goes to the project?

When money is designated to a specific project, 100 percent of the first $25,000 goes to the project. Following that, 90 percent will go to the project and 10 percent is allocated towards administrative costs.

Is MDS only for persons from Mennonite churches or background?

No, MDS invites persons from all faith backgrounds to serve with us. In some cases, Mennonite, Amish and Brethren in Christ groups may be given priority.

Disaster Management Study, Scholarships and Bursaries

There are disaster management study, scholarship and bursary opportunities for students who wish to be part of MDS.

Hesston College –  The Disaster Management program at Hesston College, Hesston, Kansas is affiliated with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) and will provide you with the experience, skills, and knowledge you will need to be involved in disaster recovery. You will learn ways to help people recover physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Requires an 8-week summer field experience with MDS. For more information click here.

Canadian Mennonite University – This bursary opportunity will be awarded to Canadian students enrolled in at least 24 credit hours of studies at the CMU Shaftesbury Campus in Winnipeg, Manitoba as an undergraduate in a BTS major major or as a graduate in the Master of Arts: Concentration in Christian Ministry program. Called the Sheep and Goats MDS Service Bursary, it requires an 8-week internship with MDS. For more information click here.

Columbia Bible College –  Receive funding for your Columbia education while you serve, learn and grow in compassion. Called the Sheep and Goats MDS Service Bursary, it requires an 8-week internship with MDS. For more information click here.

All students attending Hesston College as a Disaster Management Program major or those who wish to apply for the Sheep and Goats MDS Service Bursary must complete this application for consideration.  All Applications are due by January 31.