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Mennonite Disaster Service volunteers rebuilding homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael

Mennonite Disaster Service volunteers works to rebuild home.
Mennonite Disaster Service volunteers works to rebuild home.(WTVY)
Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 4:31 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -

If you ride through Jackson county, you’ll still see some downed trees and damaged roofs caused by Hurricane Michael.

A family lived in a Calhoun County house for years until 2018 when it was destroyed by Hurricane Michael, but the family will soon have a new home in the same spot built completely by volunteers.

“This lady and this house we’re building here, that’s where she grew up, her and her family and her sisters,” says Mennonite Disaster Service project director Don Mintmier.

The Mennonite Disaster Service is a volunteer organization that goes in after natural disasters to help families whose homes were damaged or destroyed.

MDS serves those who are uninsured, underinsured, and have no way to recover on their own.

“We just try to get people that are really needy back into their homes,” says Mintmier.

The group working in Jackson and Calhoun County traveled from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania to help repair and rebuild homes still in need of care from Hurricane Michael, and when they’re done…

“We hand them over the key, no payments,” says Mintmier.

Mintmeir has been volunteering with MDS for over a decade and says giving others a helping hand is contagious.

“Once you do it, you’re going to want to do it again. You leave part of yourself here and you take part of them with you,” says Mintmier.

Even those who are fresh to the organization find it rewarding

“It’s really a blessing not only to them but to us to be able to help them out and get them back into a solid, safe home,” says Mennonite Disaster Service volunteer Scott Early.

This property is one of four that MDS is working to repair or rebuild in the Wiregrass.

They predict to be done by April 2021.

The group started construction in the spring, but the projects were paused due to the pandemic.

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