Mennonite Disaster Service has decades of experience helping in times of tragedy


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Kevin King likes to say that Mennonite Disaster Service helps all people in need.

King is the executive director of Manheim Township-based Mennonite Disaster Service. MDS has a history of more than six decades helping during times of tragedy.

“We’re still in seven locations rebuilding homes from prior disasters,” King said.

King said they have a base of 10,000 volunteers across the United States and Canada. He said 2,500 volunteers are based in the Midstate.

“That’s the beautiful thing of Mennonite Disaster Service, it brings these people together,” King said. “I really believe it really shows what the Kingdom of God can be like here on earth.”

Melissa Hand, who currently lives in Lancaster, saw the work of MDS when she lived in Louisiana. She said the areas around her house were devastated by Hurricane Rita.

“They were the first ones to come in and assist and they were the last ones to leave,” Hand said.

As of Monday, MDS volunteers were in Texas to help rebuild homes devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

King said the volunteers got to Texas days after the hurricane hit.

“I think we’ve served 20 families in the last four days,” he said.

On Monday, volunteers were also getting ready to head to Florida to help those impacted by Hurricane Irma. ABC27 News saw them putting together tool organizers that would be put on trailers.

Larry Stoner, the regional operations coordinator for MDS, said he planned on heading to Florida on Tuesday to see how the group could help.

“We look for families that are not able to recover themselves,” he said. “We have volunteers that are willing and ready to go.”To donate, call 1-800-241-8111 or click here.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.

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