Thursday, Sept 7, 2017 


Helping Home

Canadian and American MCC raise $2.3 million

By Julia Buckingham, MCC/Katrina Grabowski photos

The Banonazarian Family arrived in Abbotsford a year and a half ago.


eptember 15 & 16 the Abbotsford Tradex will once again be hopping with 20,000 people attending the annual MCC British Columbia Festival for World Relief with the goal of raising over $1M to support refugees locally and around the world. Last year's Festival hit this same target for the first time in its history making it the largest amount raised by any of the 38 MCC relief sales and festivals held across North America in 2016.


"Our friends in Kasnas also raise a substantial amount through their annual relief sale", says Scott Campbell, MCC BC's Advancement Director. "In Canada, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario all hosted sales that raised six figures. Together we raised over $2.3M in Canada through MCC relief sales and festivals last year."


The Festival for World Relief in Abbotsford, which started in 1970, has grown to become a must attend event for many in the Fraser Valley each September. Over 1,200 volunteers help cook and serve a variety of foods, from Mennonite classics like vereniki and farmers sausage to international flavours from some of the 56 countries where MCC is currently engaged in relief, development, and peacemaking work. In addition, volunteers oversee craft booths, silent and live auctions, a kids area and more. Volunteers and staff from MCC thrift stores and Ten Thousand Villages (owned and operated by MCC) host booths and help to make the Festival a success.

"MCC is supported by a large group of dedicated and generous people who are helping ensure some of the world's most vulnerable people have the basics they need to live after being displaced or caught in conflict, natural disasters, or other challenges that would prevent them from accessing resources like food, water, and shelter", says Campbell. "At the same time, I believe so many of us are more aware than ever that we need to invite more people to help address the seemingly endless challenges around the world; challenges that we here in BC can't really imagine. Now is a great time to partner with us to help make a difference in these people's lives."

This year, funds raised at the Festival will support MCC's work with refugees locally and around the world. Since the start of the current refugee crisis in the Middle East, MCC has helped many individuals and families resettle in Canada through the support of churches and community groups who raise funds and provide for the physical and social needs of these displaced people.


At the same time, MCC works with international partners in countries like Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, as well as on the front lines of lesser known crises in parts of Africa and South and Central America, to support those who will never have the opportunity to relocate overseas and are eager to return home.  

Since 1920, Mennonite Central Committee, a ministry of Anabaptist churches, has been meeting basic human needs and working for peace and justice. Currently MCC is working with partners in over 56 countries, as well as with local partners in Canada and the United States, on projects related to relief, development, and peacemaking.


All funds raised at the Festival will support refugees living around the world, as well as those settling here in BC.


Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) British Columbia
201-33933 Gladys Ave., Abbotsford, BC V2S 2E8
604 850 6639 (1124) | 1 888 622 6337 (toll-free) |

Relief, development and peace in the name of Christ



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