Disaster Relief

torey ModeratorPosts: 4,831 admin

A big kudos to the Mennonite Disaster Service. It has been on the news here lately that they are rebuilding homes for people who lost everything (and had no insurance) in some of last year's fires. 5 new homes have been built in one community.

I first found out about the organization 2 years ago when an older couple in our community lost everything in a house fire. They had no insurance because of where they lived. There was a group on scene within 24 hours to help with the clean up and then they built the couple a new home.

Amazing! Especially as there are still people who haven't been able to rebuild because of government red tape and procrastination by insurance companies.


  • water2world
    water2world Sherry Jochen Sevierville, TNPosts: 946 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey Awesome! It is good to hear of people helping and giving of themselves....Usually, you hear of just the bad things! Thanks for posting a positive reaction!!

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭

    Great to hear about people who value volunteering and helping others.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,110 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This looks like a really amazing group! I looked up some info about them on the internet. It looks like they are doing a lot of work in Florida right now to help with recovery after Hurricane Ian also.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Moderator Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 1,400 admin

    @torey what selfless, generous & amazing souls these people are. That’s a great good news story, makes me smile. Thanks Torey😁

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 6,559 admin
    edited October 2022

    😄 Many of you know that I am Mennonite. I may not be the stereotypical Mennonite (in a few ways), but am still very proud of my heritage. I enjoy hearing what is being done.

    I was not aware of this specific focused group (not sure why), so thank you for letting us know @torey!

    This organization's Canadian office is in Winnipeg, which is not really a surprise. Manitoba, especially SE MB, has the highest population of Mennonites in Canada. This is the first place they were settled in Canada (& onto land reserves initially).

    Mennonites are known worldwide to be great gardeners/farmers, efficient cooks, singers with great harmony, & being willing to volunteer to help aid in disaster relief. They have historically always done so. Another organization they have is known as Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).

    Their thrift stores are know to have inexpensive used clothing etc., and are fully run by volunteers. The money raised, in turn, goes toward helping others who are in need. The MCC is known to be one of the most efficient relief organizations worldwide due to their efficiency, lack of huge overhead and the amount of volunteers ready and willing to assist. They do whatever is needed in a given area (food, clothing, shelter).

    Our area of MB has a massive fundraising sale that consists of a variety of items (produce, farmers sausage, plants, books, toys, a silent auction, auction...including handmade quilts & fair trade handmade goods from first world countries, & a meal) every September. It is something we try to attend yearly.

    The Mennonites might not agree on everything, but will come together from wherever, when needed to help someone.

    When covid was still a new thing the first spring, there was a really bad tornado that swept through to the southwest of my location. One farm had a particularly huge amount of damage to his yard. Everyone stayed away except for one Hutterite group that came almost immediately to help him clean up the mess. They had been unfairly maligned at the initial start of covid, yet we're still selfless and gave of themselves when a need arose. I've also heard of one colony (they live this way while Mennonites live much more independently) who set up support for a family who had a toddler go missing. They searched, set up food for the couple and volunteer searchers, and prayed and sang beautiful songs of hope and comfort and gave of themselves for weeks until the boy was found. Unfortunately, he had drowned in a flooding creek not far from home.

    Hutterites formed from Anabaptist roots about the same time as the Mennonites. They are distinctly different (and followed different men initially...thus the names and differences). They do have a few similarities, though, one being being ready & willing as a community to help in times of need.

    It is good to hear of these stories, especially when we are overrun with negative and depressing stories. I would only hope we'd all be willing to do the same for others if the need arose. I think (and know) that many of our members here would.

    I can't do much or give much myself, but I can give of my excess (especially garden produce and eggs in season). I'd rather do that then sell it if someone could make use of it. It's just what you do.

    Putting others first and being selfless is largely a forgotten virtue, especially in today's society. I try to cultivate it where I am and wherever I go, hoping that others will do the same. I am quite encouraged to keep pursuing developing this by @Monek Marie, @torey & @JodieDownUnder in this regard when I hear their stories.