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Sometimes it’s the children who do the leading. That’s what happened to Mike and Carolyn Strathdee of Kitchener, Ont.

Both of their daughters, now young adults, have done service trips. When the couple heard that Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) needed volunteers in Cape Breton in response to Hurricane Fiona, Carolyn thought it was time they did some service, too.

It was a good experience. “The people at MDS are great,” said Mike, who acknowledged doing home repairs and construction was not his skill area.

“The crew leaders were quite willing to teach us what we need to know,” he said.

Working in a 100-year-old house in Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, had its challenges.

“We learned the importance of patience,” he said. “No two walls were straight, and no two studs lined up.”

For Carolyn, service with MDS was “a way to push myself a bit more. I wanted a vacation that was meaningful, along with seeing a different part of the country.”

It was, she said, “a chance to do something different, instead of the same old things.”

John Longhurst, MDS Canada Communications

A total of 458 volunteers from across Canada provided over 32,000 hours of service for 272 families and community organizations in Cape Breton in response to Hurricane Fiona. This included repairs to 44 houses, 28 new roofs or roof repairs and 179 tree-cutting and clean up jobs. Read about the August 24 closing celebration.

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