January 5, 2022
MDS volunteers bring hard work and hope to Kentucky
Volunteers from Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) are on the ground in tornado-ravaged areas of Kentucky, focusing on cleanup as well as plans for a long-term response.
In the Mayfield area—badly damaged during the Dec. 10 tornado—MDS volunteers are cleaning up debris, removing tree limbs, and repairing homes to make them safe for homeowners or damage assessors to enter.
MDS volunteers are scheduled in Mayfield through the end of February, with many staying at the The Hill camp in Hardin, Kentucky.
Local officials continue to ask volunteers not to self-deploy as accommodations are limited due to both extensive damage and COVID-19 safety protocols.
MDS leaders, including MDS Executive Director Kevin King, MDS Field Operations Manager Jerry Grosh, Region 2 Board Chair Ronn Frantz and Region 2 Operations Coordinator Darin Bontrager are visiting Mayfield this week to continue assessing damage and to meet with Homes and Hope for Kentucky, which is handling case management to allow MDS and other responding organizations help those most in need.
“Many uninsured families are being identified,” said Tom Smucker, who coordinated the startup of the project in Mayfield.
With one project open in Mayfield, MDS is also eying other underserved areas in Kentucky, where cold temperatures and travel delays have challenged volunteers.
Another challenge: ongoing storms that received little attention. “Five tornadoes touched down on New Year’s Eve in western Kentucky, including an F2 in Hopkinsville,” noted Smucker. “The debris is now covered by snow.”
How you can help
Volunteer. If you are interested in being added to a volunteer waitlist, please fill out this form.
Donate. Thanks to so many who have sent donations to help us respond. If you wish to donate to the MDS response, you may do so on our website. Please click button below. MDS only accepts monetary donations. We are unable to accept clothing, food, water or other material aid.Donate