What is the MCC Philly Festival and Auction?
An annual event to raise funds for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), an international organization of the Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches that does disaster relief, sustainable community development and justice and peacebuilding work in over 50 countries around the world. This event was conceived and is organized and supervised by a volunteer planning committee.
Who sponsors the MCC Philly Festival and Auction?
The Philly MCC Festival & Auction is part of the PA Relief Sale with support from Philadelphia area Anabaptist congregations that are a part of the Kingdom Builders Anabaptist Network. Attendance at the first year event drew from supporters of MCC in Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley Tri-County area and Franconia and Eastern District Conferences of Mennonite Church USA.
When does it take place?
The 3rd Annual MCC Philly Festival and Auction will take place on Sat. October 26, from 10am.-3pm. For those who come at 10 or earlier there will be coffee and pastries available. The live auction will begin at 10:30 and continue throughout the day. Multicultural food provided by local churches will be available for lunch and throughout the day. A bake goods table, MCC information table, children’s activities and a Ten Thousand Villages Boutique shop will be open throughout the day. A full schedule of events is available on this web-page.
Where is the Festival held?
How does the auction work?
All the items in the auction portion of the Festival are donated. Each item will be sold to the highest bidder. An auctioneer guides the bidding process suggesting opening bids and acknowledging each bid/bidder as the amount increases. Attendees register and receive an auction number which is the reference used for bidding, payment and pickup of purchased items.
What can one expect to find there?
This year’s event will feature a live auction of fine crafted items unique experiences, quilts, a Ten Thousand Villages Boutique of fair trade products, children’s activities and multicultural food from area Anabaptist churches.
A lot is packed into this one day. You can sample foods from Vietnam (beef noodle soup), tamales from Mexico, Chinese fried egg rolls, Haitian rice and chicken and African-American soul food and Indonesian food.
Bring your children to enjoy storytelling and hands-on learning experiences about MCC. You can take some items home with you from the baked goods table and get a jump on your Christmas shopping at the Ten Thousand Villages boutique.
What’s the atmosphere like?
Friendly and informal—stop by the festival and auction for as little or as much time as you like. First year festival attendees enjoyed the variety of foods available. Many had never experienced a live auction before and enjoyed seeing and bidding on the variety of items donated (tickets and memberships to area attractions, meals at homes, quilts, wooden toys). Many attendees enjoyed seeing people they knew from their own communities and also meeting new friends from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
How many people attend?
It is hard to say how many came to the first annual Festival and Auction. The planning committee estimated that despite the wintry weather, between 300-400 people attended the event.
How much money is raised?
Last year’s auction raised $22,000 and proceeds from food, household items and Ten Thousand Villages totaled around $5,000. We were encouraged that in the second year the event raised almost $27,000 for the work of MCC in Philadelphia and around the world. This was all possible because of the generosity of individuals and local business donors and the friendly but competitive bidding on auction items.
What does the MCC do with the money?
The money is sent to Mennonite Central Committee offices found in Akron, Pennsylvania and Winnipeg, Manitoba where the proceeds are sent around the globe. The agency has over 700 volunteers working in around 50 countries. Funds are used for disaster relief, sustainable community development and justice and peacebuilding work.
One unique feature of our sale is that half of the proceeds from our sale will go to support MCC programs in the Philadelphia area which include supporting prison ministry, anti-violence work and a building construction program.
How did the MCC Philly Festival get started?
The first sale was held in October 2011. The initial vision for this event came from members of Anabaptist related churches in the Philadelphia area many of which partner together in different MCC programs in the city. A survey of churches in the Kingdom Builders Anabaptist Network indicated interest among church members. A planning committee comprised of members of those churches met to begin planning. The Festival planning committee reached out to the board of the Pennsylvania Relief Sale for encouragement, logistical and financial support.