The New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale takes place every year on the last Friday and Saturday of May. It hosts over 40 venues with an estimated 2000 volunteers donating their time and expertise while demonstrating their passion for assisting others in need.
The Relief Sale was started in 1967 by individuals from Mennonite churches in southwestern-Ontario in response to the ever-growing world-wide need for relief from hunger, poverty and natural disaster and for development and peace-building activities. The net proceeds from the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale are forwarded to Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a not-for-profit relief, service and development and peace agency of the Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in North America. MCC seeks to demonstrate God’s love by working among people around the world suffering from poverty, conflict, oppression and natural disaster. Started in 1920 in response to hunger in southern Russia (present day Ukraine), MCC strives for peace, justice and dignity of all people.
Many people contribute to the success of the sale: donors of goods and services, supporting church congregations, auctioneers, venue coordinators and volunteers as well as the thousands of visitors from a wide geographic region who purchase the merchandise. Annual revenue from the Sale has been in excess of $250,000 for more than 25 years. Since 1967, over 12 million dollars has been raised by the New Hamburg Sale.
The sale attracts visitors annually because it is entertaining while raising money for a worthwhile cause. People come year-after-year because they know that the event is run exclusively by volunteers with a passion for the sale and its good work and that all of the money goes to MCC.