Wednesday, November 01, 2023


Local service opportunity:
In the wake of record-setting heavy storms and flooding this past summer, and continuing with more recent rains, Cook County, Illinois (Chicago area), was declared a federal disaster area. Nearly 85,000 people have already registered for needed assistance in part due to sewers backing up into garden level homes and apartments. Work is being done to support Long-Term Recovery Group formation, getting teams in to help with clean-up, supporting training of local volunteers, and finding volunteer housing. World Renew is doing mold remediation training and then starting some clean-up work. Team Rubicon and Mennonite Disaster Services are also scheduled to come.

They are now seeking volunteers to begin the rebuilding/repair work. This is a wonderful opportunity for Illinois/Wisconsin District members to serve locally and support your own region’s recovery effort. For those interested in volunteering: You can volunteer individually, or organize a small group of friends or a team from your congregation or district. You can volunteer for a day or two or as often as you are able. Please contact Joy Medrano to make all arrangements by calling 309-509-3708 or contacting Please mention that you received this information from Brethren Disaster Ministries (BDM). BDM would like to receive any photos taken and would also be glad to receive any reflections from volunteers. Email those to Kim Gingerich, Program Assistant BDM Rebuilding, at If you sign up to volunteer or if you have questions, please contact district disaster coordinator Loren Habegger at

Annual disaster response trip: As has been the practice in recent years, the Illinois/Wisconsin District has agreed to provide up to eight volunteers for the week following Thanksgiving, Nov. 26–Dec. 2. That week of volunteering again will be shared with the South/Central Indiana District. The project site, Dawson Springs, Kentucky, is a relatively nearby “neighbor,” just 70 miles south of Evansville, Indiana. This provides a great opportunity for those who want to serve with BDM but hesitate to travel hundreds of miles to a project site. More information about the Dawson Springs BDM project, assisting with recovery from a tornado, is at

A complete schedule for the Dawson Springs project can be found here. In addition to the week of Nov. 26, there are openings in other weeks with the opportunity to join other districts. To register your interest in joining this year’s Illinois/Wisconsin group, contact our district disaster coordinator, Loren Habegger. To volunteer with other groups for the listed openings, contact Kim Gingerich at