MDS Partnership

By Andrea Wenger, director of advancement

Students in this spring’s Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) class constructed 10 exterior and 18 interior walls that will be transported to Hurley, Virginia, for a new home in a community still recovering from an August 2021 flood.

Some of those students also participated in an April MDS E-term to Hurley, the second year EMS has taken a group.

Fourteen students joined the MDS class, most of whom had no construction experience when they registered for the new elective.

Before the students used nail guns and other power tools to construct the frames, they practiced measuring, sawing, hammering, and other skills on projects such as a cutting board, a birdhouse, a folding table, and building a shed on school grounds.

The practice projects, except for the shed, were created using reclaimed pallets.

The MDS-EMS partnership brings new life to the former “shop” area, teaches practical skills, and is nurturing a young constituency of skilled and passionate MDS supporters. “It’s a win-win-win,” says Justin King, high school principal who had
a vision for the new elective along with his father Kevin King, executive director of MDS.

EMS plans to send an E-term with MDS every year.

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