The Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale has had a long tradition of uniting people for the common cause of raising money for Menonnite Central Committee (MCC) to help people around the world In The Name Of Christ. Last year we were able to donate $300,000 to MCC, our highest ever donation. In fact, almost every year that amount increases! Each year it takes many volunteers working together to pull off such an event and we very much appreciate all of their work and efforts. The Relief Sale Board wants to proceed with caution to protect those volunteers and everyone who supports the sale. The 54th Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale will look very different than in the past due to COVID restrictions and social distancing recommendations. Although we are still exploring various options, here are some things that will be happening
- There will be an online auction only. We are currently having the online auction website/app built for us. Items to be auctioned off will need to be photographed before a specified date to be displayed on the auction website. Items will then be brought to the Rockingham Fairgrounds the morning of October 1. We will have all items displayed for people to view Thursday (October 1) through Saturday (October 3) at specified times. All through this time, people can be bidding online for each item. The auction will then start closing items Saturday morning (you can watch items/prices live online). Once an item closes, the high bidder would then come to the fairgrounds to pick up the item. We are exploring shipping options. Payment could be done online with credit card or in person.
- We will still encourage people to drop off baked goods to be sold at the fairgrounds. People can buy these items as they view the auction items (Thur-Sat).
- We are exploring the idea of having drive through dinners available. We could possibly have Beef BBQ, fresh Mississippi Catfish, Chicken BBQ, or other items available. We will be contacting those in charge of different foods to gauge their comfort level in participating this year.
- The Run for Relief 5K is still planning on happening in one form or another.
- The Sharing Our Surplus (SOS) group is planning a Refugee Relief Walk. They are inviting people to collect sponsors for every mile walked, or just donations. They originally planned for a group walk with a hymn sing at the end, but it may be done virtually (TBD).
- We invite churches to do their own fundraiser for MCC. We would gladly publicize the event for you through our facebook page and church newsletters. These events could be done on any weekend- not just Relief Sale weekend. We have talked about the possibility of having 2-4 churches sell their items at a central location as a drive through option.
- My Coins Count- Continue to collect coins (or bills/checks). We will collect these somehow/somewhere. Maybe you would consider making some sort of matching donation.
- Do individual fundraising. I know of someone who recently made a lot of sweet rolls and sold them as a fundraiser for MCC. Think creatively in how you might raise money.
As MCC is celebrating their 100th year of Serving In The Name Of Christ, let’s help make this a most excellent year of giving. Who knows, maybe we can top the $300,000 we donated last year!
* Note: Credit card contributions can be made anytime at https://vareliefsale.com/donate/. Checks should be made out to “Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale” (with SOS in the memo line if you want it to go specifically for the “Hundreds for Hundreds” campaign for refugee relief).
The mailing address is Relief Sale, 601 Parkwood Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22802 (the Virginia Mennonite Conference Center).