MDS volunteers help with flooded homes

By on September 14, 2011

Crews from the Lancaster County Unit of Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) worked in Ephrata on Friday and Saturday, helping residents pump out basements, and remove sodden carpets and furniture from their flooded homes. Crews pumped out over 20 basements on Niss Ave., James Ave. and Circle Drive over the weekend. They will be working at removing drywall and more flooring in those neighborhoods this week.

Damage is severe; at least one home in the area has been condemned. MDS Lancaster Unit Chair Tim High is connecting volunteers with homeowners in need of help in hard-hit areas of Lancaster County.

Mennonite Disaster Service is a volunteer network of Anabaptist churches that responds in Christian love to those affected by disasters in Canada and the United States. While the main focus is on clean up, repair and rebuilding homes, this service touches lives and nurtures hope, faith and wholeness.

Why this outreach?

"Many of our volunteers respond out of compassion due to so many needs, obedience to the scripture of "loving our neighbor" and out of gratefulness to God for what we have been given. This has been an exceptionally busy year, said Kevin King, Executive Director. "According to the Weather Channel, 48 states have had declared disasters this year. We have had a volunteer response in 22 of those states. Never did I expect a disaster that was Presidentially declared in my own ‘backyard.’ We are so grateful for the generosity of our donors and volunteers to make this possible to get people back home — that is safe, sound an secure."

MDS provides volunteer labor for clean up after disasters for all those in need of such assistance. For long-term rebuilding work, MDS has developed guidelines to focus efforts on assisting those who need it most.

MDS provides volunteer labor to repair and rebuild homes for those who are:

? Home owners – those who owned their home before the disaster.

? Primary residents – MDS does not work on 2nd homes or vacation houses.

? Uninsured or under-insured – where insurance settlement is not enough to rebuild.

? Unable to get loans, whether disaster loans or other personal loans, to cover the cost of rebuilding.

? Without personal resources or savings to cover the full cost of rebuilding.

MDS assists home owners who have unmet needs and who do not have the resources, whether personal, insurance, loans, or otherwise, to hire a contractor or pay for labor to rebuild their house of residence.

MDS gives priority to the most vulnerable in communities, especially the elderly, handicapped and single-parent families.

Those wishing to contribute to help these relief efforts can contribute online at :, or mail to MDS, 583 Airport Road, Lititz, 17543. More MDS, page A7

About Ephrata Review