BIC Canada is a member of a unique ministry in North America called the “Mennonite Disaster Service” (MDS). This agency links the wide variety of Anabaptist denominations in order to respond to disasters and crises within Canada and the USA in very practical ways. It has an excellent track record of providing a way for congregational volunteers to respond to the needs created as a result of disaster. Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) is the leading Anabaptist agency in response to the Alberta Flood. MCC collaborates with MDS in communications with churches, the gathering of requested material aid (like blankets or other items) or in other ways mutually decided upon. Donations can be made out to MDS designated to “Alberta Floods”. If and when material donations are needed, specific information will be made public. Website: http://www.mds.mennonite.net/
MDS is responding to the floods that have recently happened in Alberta. Much is happening to lay the foundation for a longer term MDS response in Alberta. The Alberta Unit is highly engaged and working very well in this. The new and ongoing MDS Alberta Flood Volunteer Coordinator phone number is 587-216-6169. If you can volunteer to help out in Alberta, call this number to volunteer with MDS.
Calgary remains in a state of emergency, even though the water flow is now at 10% of what it was at its peak. Return of evacuees to High River began Saturday (June 29/13) in a limited way. In other communities those not directly affected by water have returned to work and though many small businesses remain closed in affected areas creating an economic impact which is difficult to measure. In the small town of Turner Valley less than a dozen homes were affected, but they only returned Thursday to their homes and that area is fairly isolated from other parts of the community. Assessment in Medicine Hat is happening over the weekend.
1. MDS Volunteers began being deployed in Medicine Hat this past Monday, July 1. Several hundred homes were directly impacted.
2. Siksika First Nation has 165 homes affected and assessment of the extent of the damage is underway. The community has put out a specific appeal for material good help and the response has been almost overwhelming. Volunteers are helping them sort and distribute the donations. MDS anticipates being ready to deploy volunteers for mucking out in Siksika beginning Tuesday, but are awaiting confirmation. Please call the MDS Volunteer Coordinator’s number (587-216-6169) to sign up to help.
3. There is on-going work in Calgary, and MDS is responding at the moment through Samaritan’s Purse. Phone the MDS Volunteer Coordinator’s number (587-216-6169) to sign up. MDS anticipates sending volunteers shortly.
4. High River is beginning to open up, and MDS anticipate many organizations wishing to be present. MDS will do what it can to serve the people of the town. Call in to the MDS Volunteer Coordinator’s number to register and get an update of possibilities.
We anticipate long term rebuilding and are working to establish contacts in the various communities.
Donations can be given to Mennonite Disaster Service, designated for Alberta Floods. For more specific questions about the MDS Alberta flood response please call the MDS Region V office in Winnipeg, (866) 261-1274.