March 21, 2020
MDS cancels all summer projects in U.S. and Canada
The following is a letter from MDS Executive Director Kevin King sent to volunteers.
I want to express how grateful we are for each of you and your willingness to serve with MDS. Some of you have agreed to be Leadership Volunteers on future projects. Others have willingly committed to weekly service including those involved with the Summer Youth Program. Thank you all. You bring the MDS mission to life. You put faith into action.
I also want to provide an update on the projects. As of March 13, all of our projects are closed. Most of our volunteers have returned home, except for a few who are still in the process of closing down projects.
As for the future, the situation with COVID-19 is rapidly changing. We don’t know what tomorrow, next week or next month will bring. With that in mind, we are canceling our summer projects in the U.S. and Canada. If you signed up to volunteer this summer, please note this change. Do not purchase airline tickets. Do not book travel reservations. If you currently have an airline ticket, you may want to take advantage of the airline’s grace period for making changes and cancellations without a fee. For most airlines, the grace period ends March 31. Please check your airline’s website for specific information. MDS staff work-related travel is also suspended indefinitely.
In the meantime, we have suspended scheduling volunteers for projects since they are all canceled. We will resume our work only when we are assured by health authorities that it is safe and prudent to do so.
Let me once again thank each of you for your commitment to MDS! And thank you also for your patience as we try to figure out what to do next in this uncharted time. I pray for good health, peace, and comfort for us all. I’d like to leave you with a passage which has given me great comfort in recent days:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Kevin King | Executive Director
Mennonite Disaster Service
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