Pieced together generosity

The feathers in fundraisers’ caps are major gifts. Development officers dream of racking up a string of six or seven-figure donations. Never mind that most nonprofits get the job done with gifts in lesser denominations.  Mega-donors (real or hoped for) get all the attention, while donors with lesser wealth get barely a nod.

But not this past weekend. Not at the 2012 Pennsylvania Relief Sale, a fundraiser in support of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).

Midway through the quilt auction (my favorite part of the festivities), bidding was halted for a tribute to quilter extraordinaire, Mildred Mast, who died on February 12, 2012. Over the years, Mildred gave her best — her spectacular quilting skills — in support of the work of MCC. And bidders responded enthusiastically to Mildred’s beautiful designs and expert workmanship with their best offers.

As the last of her quilted masterpieces came up for bid, I imagined Mildred and other heavenly quilters laying down their golden needles in anticipation of what would come. And I could almost hear them clapping with each additional bid. $1,400, $2,500, $1,200, and $1,700 — an impressive $6,800 for the work of Mennonite Central Committee in less than ten minutes.

Polka quilt, pieced by Rachel Horst, quilted by Path Valley Amish.

It would have been great to win one of Mildred’s quilts, but the rapid-fire bidding left me in the dust. I didn’t even get my bid card in the air. I did better later, however, winning four lovely items (including the bed-sized quilt pictured to the left) by other wonderful quilters.

Granted, a quilt auction doesn’t produce Buffet-sized philanthropy, yet the gifts do add up for the global work of MCC.  Time, talent, or treasure. Generous matters in any amount, in any form. Or to paraphrase the Apostle Paul, some quilt, some bid, and God gives the increase.


  1. Ken Martin says:

    What a well-written tribute to all of the organizers and hundreds of volunteers who work cooperatively to coordinate the PA Relief Sale.
    We estimate that over 1,000 volunteers are involved in producing the quilts, setting up the Expo Hall, preparing the food, and operating the 1 1/2 day event. You are a prime example of a Christian who enjoys celebrating community while CREATING HOPE for those around our globe. Thank you.
    -Ken Martin, chair – PA Relief Sale Board of Directors
    (an organization whose mission is to raise
    resources for MCC)

What's your take on this topic?

%d bloggers like this: