What is Mennonite Central Committee?
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) was formed when representatives of various Mennonite conferences met July 27-28, 1920, in Elkhart, Ind., and pledged to aid hungry people, including Mennonites, in Russia and Ukraine.
The goal of the first three MCC workers, Orie O. Miller, Clayton Kratz and Arthur Slagel, was to deliver aid in Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. Kratz disappeared and was believed killed. Miller and Slagel returned. Since then, more than 13,000 people have served one-, two-, three- and five-year assignments with MCC. Thousands of others have volunteered in thrift shops, at relief sales and in other ways.
Through the years, MCC has worked to follow the call of Matthew 25:35-36 to reach out to those who are hungry, thirsty, ill or in prison and to welcome strangers. Many Mennonites have experienced war, hunger and refugee flight and long to respond to people facing crises today. "This donation is given in thanks for help we received many years ago," writes one woman. "When I was a child in Russia, I was fed by MCC. When my husband was a prisoner of war after World War II, he received help from MCC. We never forgot."
Why a relief sale? Centuries of living & working in community have instilled in Mennonites an understanding of the strength of a community response to need. In this spirit, Mennonites began organizing sales like this to support& expand the worldwide relief efforts of MCC. In 2007, 46 sales in the United States & Canada generated more than $5.5 million. For a complete listing of sales, click here.
How much do our quilts sell for? This is the single most frequently asked question and a difficult one to answer. Because all of our quilts are sold at auction, we never know what the prices will be. Our quilts include a wide variety of sizes, colors, designs, etc. and, of course, the prices vary widely, as well. Typically, there are some that sell for less than $100 and some that sell for more than $1,000. In our 18 years, the highest price for one of our quilts (so far) is $6,500.
How Can I Help? Everyone is invited to attend the sale, enjoy the food, participate in the auctions & take home some crafts. Donations are also welcome. Please see the Volunteer Opportunities page for more ways to contribute.
Why send aid overseas when there is so much need here in our own country? We encourage all efforts to help the needy among us anywhere on the planet. A substantial amount of MCC's work takes place here in the United States and Canada, including continuing assistance to hurricane victims.
Moreover, this is really the same question that Jesus was asked long ago: "Who is my neighbor?" Jesus answered by telling the story that we know as The Good Samaritan. In that story he challenges all of us to reach out in compassion to those in need, no matter who they are or where they are from. Jesus challenges us to define our neighborhood in a way that transcends the barriers that we so often erect between ourselves and others-barriers of race, class, ethnicity, nationality, etc. So in response to his call, we strive to minister to people who are hurting throughout the world.