“If anyone sees his brother in need and fails to give…what evidence is there of God’s love?”
– 1 John 3:17
My husband came home today and told me that we were going to make another big pot of venison chili for him to take to work. He took one for a Valentine’s Day party and it was a big hit! But this chili they are going to sell as a fundraiser for a co-worker whose wife has cancer. I’m telling Stace about it, and she reminded me how this is so much like the Amish. (BTW–the chili recipe is at the end of this post.)
It’s widely known that the Amish take care of themselves. In fact, their sense of community is one of the many things I admire about them. One of the most popular ways that they support each other and their community is through various types of benefits and auctions.
Now they have regular auctions, though mostly for produce. But it seems that most go to benefit a family in need. Perhaps the biggest auction is the Haiti Auction.
According to www.pahaitiauction.com, the purpose of this auction is to “bring relief to the hungry, sick, naked, and homeless of Haiti. The ultimate goal is to bring them to Christ through providing for their physical and spiritual needs. Relief is given throughout the country of Haiti without regard to race, religion, or creed.”
The auction is held throughout the United States in such places as Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. My friends attend this auction in Pennsylvania every summer. This year, I’m hoping to attend as well! The benefit is held in January for the Pinecraft community, but in July for Lancaster. Five or six tents are set up with auctions occurring in each tent throughout the day. Furniture, quilts, tools, crafts, gardening and farm supplies, firewood and more are put up for auction. Food is served in a special tent all day. At exactly 12 noon, an announcement is made over the loud speaker. Everyone stops, prays, then sings a song together. Can you imagine how amazing it sounds to hear hundreds of people singing together?
The highlight of the day is the silent auction. Many unique items are put up for auction, such as a day of labor supplied by a group of Amish youth, a wing supper donated by an Amish couple, and a ton of hay or straw.
Sometimes an auction is organized to help pay for the medical expenses of someone who has been injured or fallen ill. My Amish friend also attended a benefit auction recently that was held to help raise money for a man who had fallen out of a tree and was left paralyzed from the accident. Members of the community donated quilts, wall hangings, tools, pies, and more to be auctioned off. Everyone also brought a covered dish to share. After making a donation, attendees passed through the food line and enjoyed the various pot luck dishes that were donated.
The community also held a benefit for an Amish woman whose husband left her and her children for the English world. This was a different type of event called a “Stop and Shop”. Several vendors (Pampered Chef, Tupperware, 31, Tastefully Simple, etc.) set up shop in someone’s basement. Friends, family, and neighbors stopped by to shop. They bought raffle tickets and purchased lunch and baked goods. Donations were also accepted. All proceeds went to the person in need.
The Clarita School Auction is held every September in the Amish community of Clarita, OK. Items are donated to help support the local Amish school. In fact, the Clarita School Auction is the recipient of the quilts made by the women of my Amish Quilting Circle Series. If you happen to be in OK around this time, you should check it out! Here’s the link for more information. http://www.claritaoklahoma.com/auction.html
I can’t help but wonder how much better our world would be if we took direction from the Amish and reached out to help our neighbors more.
Have you been to an Amish auction? What about a benefit for someone–Amish or English? Comment below and your name will be added to this week’s drawing. The prize up for grabs? A large print edition of Titus Returns. (It’s hard back!)
Be sure to check out the rest of the pictures from previous Amish auctions…
And as always, thanks for reading!
This recipe is a jpeg. You can ‘right click’ and save it to your computer. Then you can print from there!