West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale (WCMRS) weekend is just around the corner, next Friday and Saturday. While there is a LOT of fabulous food for sale, along with used books, plants, antiques, collectibles, fair trade items, a 10K race and 2 mile fun run, the main money is raised through the auctioning of handmade items (over 500 quilts, afghans and comforters).
This sale is held every year (there are several similar sales held through the United States and Canada) to help fund Mennonite Central Committee, whose mission is to spread relief, development and peace in the name of Christ. It is an incredibly well-respected charitable organization. In fact, nearly 90 percent of all money donated goes to the work of MCC.
Where is this work carried out? In the words of a former West Coast director, "All those places you wouldn't want to go for vacation? Those are the places where MCC is present."
MCC has an ongoing presence in many, many countries, and is always one of the first responders whenever there is a disaster happening anywhere in the world. A partial list of the places where MCC has a current presence includes Burundi, Chad, Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Ukraine, Bolivia, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine & Israel, Syria...the list goes on.
In fact, as I checked the website, one of the first articles included the following information:
"Since the Syrian war began five years ago in March, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has spent about $34.6 million to relieve the suffering of Syrians, Iraqis and people in neighboring countries who have been impacted by violence."
That help includes:
It is always an ongoing topic of conversation as to what style/color of quilt will bring the biggest amount from bidders at the auction. The answer to that remains a simple one: it only takes two people who each want any specific quilt and bid against each other until one finally gives up. Over the years, again and again, we have found that there is no way to predict which quilts will bring the highest bid. We have seen exquisitely hand quilted beauties go for a price that doesn't even cover the cost of the fabric. We have seen small wall hangings that inexplicably go for a really high price--maybe someone is sentimental because a close family member or friend worked on it--you really never can predict.
Oakshott. I can't say enough about Michael Oakshott, who gave me a very generous discount on the fabric after I told him a little about MCC and its work around the world. He took my word for the plans for this quilt totally on faith, even though I told him it would be two years before it would be auctioned off! It sold for $3,500.
I hope you will stop by my blog (Live a Colorful Life) after next weekend and you can find out how much the quilt sold for.