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Historical black and white MDS volunteersHistorical black and white MDS volunteers

Our History in Canada

Although MDS Canada was only formally registered as a Canadian charitable organization in the 1990s, MDS activity dates back to at least 1948 when volunteers in Manitoba helped people impacted by a flood in Manitoba’s Red River Valley. They helped again in 1950, when the Red River flooded again.

In the 1950s in Ontario, volunteers responded to tornados in Sarnia and London and helped people affected by Hurricane Hazel. In 1956 Mennonites from Canada organized themselves under the MDS umbrellas Region 5. Eddie Barringer was elected to represent MDS across Canada while units formed in Ontario and B.C. Almost immediately, MDS in B.C. was asked to help Hungarian refugees being housed in Abbotsford. In 1958 MDS in Canada became part of MCC Canada. Units were also formed in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Today MDS Canada is an independent Canadian charitable organization that works in close partnership with MDS in the U.S. We respond to disasters through our units across the country, and each year about 600 volunteers head south to the U.S. to serve at projects organized by MDS in that country.

Read our history in the U.S.