MCC Relief Auction and Bazaar - Fun and Giving in Alberta
Throughout Canada and the United States, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) relief sales bring together food, fun and items from quilts to puzzles in all raising more than $5.3 million each year for MCC’s worldwide relief, development and peace work.
There are 30 relief sales in the United States and 14 in Canada, with an estimated 20,000 volunteers coming together to make auctions, food booths, entertainment and other activities possible. There are so many volunteers in Alberta interested in contributing their time and skills that the sale location has to alternate between three areas of the province (Edmonton/Sherwood Park, Didsbury/Calgary, and Coaldale/Lethbridge) in order to give everyone a chance to participate at least once every three years.
While the sale location may rotate, there are two ingredients that don’t change: friendly faces and wonderful food. Each sale also reflects the traditions and backgrounds of members of local churches and communities.
Handmade quilts are a staple of the sales and raise significant funds. Individual quilts have often fetched more $2500. Another hallmark of relief sales is collecting coins for Penny Power, an effort to collect spare change for MCC’s work. You’ll hear the jingle of coins at the sale. This year, all funds raised by Penny Power in Alberta will fund MCC’s international food and agriculture projects.
Ten Thousand Villages, an MCC sister organization and one of the world’s oldest and largest fair trade organizations, also plays a prominent role at the Sale. With more than 130 artisan groups in more than 38 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Ten Thousand Villages always brings a unique blend of fair trade jewelry, home decor, gifts and more.
Written by Adam Beriault and Ernie Engbrecht