On Saturday, June 11 was the annual Iowa Mennonite Relief Sale, taking place at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. The event garnered thousands of people with hundreds of volunteers serving food, …
On Saturday, June 11 was the annual Iowa Mennonite Relief Sale, taking place at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. The event garnered thousands of people with hundreds of volunteers serving food, selling goods, and games for children.
The annual sale is over 40 years old and is planned year-round by over 20 different Mennonite and Anabaptists churches. Every year, money raised from the sale goes to a worldwide relief program from the Mennonite Central Committee.
“The money can go to all sorts of things- one of the biggest being missions. We can send volunteers, young and old to spread God’s word and help others in need,” comments Relief Sale Executive Board co-chair, Don Patterson.
Like previous years, the sale held an abundance of different vendors, activities, and most notably- the auctions. Delicious foods like apple fritters, tacos, homemade ice cream, breads, jams, cheese curds, and pies were all for sale. There were plenty of children’s activities to keep the little-ones busy. From a giant bouncy house to the barrel tractor ride, every kid was sure to have fun. Iowa’s largest quilt auction was being held at the sale, with over 80 handmade quilts are on display and sold. Other items such as handmade wooden furniture, packages beef and pork, and antiques were also up for auction.
“Of course, this is not the only relief sale- from February to late November, over 40 sales are held across the country- even in Canada,” explains Patterson
Local residents and those who have travelled long distances, all come to visit the event. Despite the drizzly weather, the turnout was exceptional.
“After the difficulty of arranging the sale last year through the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic- this year felt more graceful. To say the sale was successful compared to last year would be an understatement,” commends Patterson.
Through the relief sale and the help of so many Mennonite and Anabaptist volunteers, the Mennonite Central Committee was able to raise thousands of dollars- all going towards an exceptional cause.
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