Back in March when we first encountered the problems affiliated with the Covid-19 Epidemic, we hoped that we would be able to have the sale. But as we found out, that was not possible. In April the KMRS Board met and established a goal of trying to raise $500,000 for the Mennonite Central Committee. It seemed like an audacious goal…one that would require commitment and dedication, but a goal that could be reached. We had the donations that came to us through the 1000 at a $1000 program, we had the money that had come from churches to help meet the expenses and we had some carry over from the previous year.
The most important decision we made was to encourage churches, sale committees, individuals, and families to think of and carry out ways to create revenue to invest in the growing needs of the Mennonite Central Committee. We acknowledge that the sale belongs not to the Board but to all the people that make up the Relief Sale Family. Thank you all for responding as you did.
We had people who made and sold zweibach, Jerry Toews sold automobiles and tractors, we acknowledged the date of April 18 as the date of the Feed the Multitude and asked people to donate based on the number of people at their table that night, and we sold lots of almonds, yard sticks and caps.
Keith Banman, Goessel grocer, organized with the help of the Goessel community, a drive through pick up meal of a ham loaf dinner…expectations were for 200 people, but the reservations had to be cut off at close to 700 people.
Flowers and plants intended to be sold at the “sale” were put up for sale in Newton and other people brought their plants and made donations and contributed to the impromptu “plant sale”.
The virtual run attracted attention and participation, and drew out competition between a couple of Board Members to see who could get the most pledges.
But the most significant thing was the size of people’s hearts and their desire to contribute. Some gave what they would have spent had the sale been held. Other people continued to contribute to the 1000 at a $1000 program, and many people gave what they could. Donations came in as coins, dollars, and checks from $5 to $10,000 came in, all in the name of Christ. As recently as two weeks ago, donations were still coming to Tim Miller, our treasurer, or to me. There were enough donations to make deposits 4 out of 6 days. People gave because they were called to give.
On June 18, we presented a check and deposits to MCC for $500,000. The symbolic check and the distribution of that money will allow for MCC to carry out some of the projects that are in need of funding.
To accomplish this goal the Board needed each and every one of you. On behalf of the KMRS Board and the Central States Office of the Mennonite Central Committee I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I thank you for your concern for the purpose of the sale, I thank you for your creativity and your dedication, and I thank you for the love of Christ you have shown by thinking of others before yourselves.
We might think we are done…but there is work to be done and we will keep working on 2020 projects and funding until October. We will give another donation to MCC and then we start to prepare for the April 2021 sale in November. Check the website, and look for the opportunities to help make the world a better place.