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Even though most MDS projects remain closed, we bring you news of volunteers working creatively—and safely—as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect tens of thousands of people every day in the U.S. and Canada. I understand that MDS volunteers are eager to get back out and serve others. This became evident when volunteer slots were filled within 48 hours after we announced the opportunity to work in Willow, Alaska to rebuild five homes for wildfire survivors. You will see as you read the latest news in On the Level that MDS volunteers are working under special circumstances, and they are observing COVID-related safety guidelines we have carefully developed. Frankly, we are a long way from reopening projects that look like the ones we all know and love. That’s why I am so pleased the way in which MDS units have stepped up to volunteer at a grassroots level. As you are out there, whether working as an MDS volunteer or simply helping your neighbor, please remember that service to others also means caring about their safety. Please, wear a mask. Please, practice social distancing. The more we stand together now, the sooner we can reopen our projects.

Executive Director

Mennonite Disaster Service


July 7, 2020 As MDS looks to reopen projects, the Benchmarks for Project Startup document will be used to guide the decision making process.

COVID-19 U.S. Project Practices

MDS staff have created several COVID-19 U.S. Project Practices documents for projects with overnight accommodations to help keep volunteers and community members safe. These working documents will be updated as the COVID-19 situation changes. Each of these documents describe COVID-19 mitigation practices for leadership and long term volunteer roles on an MDS project as well as for weekly volunteers, homeowners and community partners.

News & Stories

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