Monday, May 27, 2013

Run For Relief

As I wrote yesterday, one of the core beliefs of Mennonites is our commitment to Jesus' teachings on social justice. (I just want to add that we are by no means the only denomination which does this and I am just trying to explain some parts of my faith without meaning to imply that "we are the only ones who do things this way." Because I know we aren't.) We take seriously his mandate in Matthew 25:34-40. (Yes, I'm making you click on the link, unless you have the scripture memorized.) So Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is one of our main relief organizations. MCC was started in the early 1920s to help starving people in Russia and has grown since then. Since my grandpa came over from Russia in the 1920s, it has been an organization we give a lot of support to.

One of the main ways MCC raises money is through Relief Sales. I grew up going to the sale in Saskatoon and, now that I've moved to Ontario, we go to the one in New Hamburg. The New Hamburg Sale has raised over $14 million dollars for MCC since it started in 1967, and over $300,000 a year for the last 25 years. (found here.) At Relief Sales, almost everything is donated so that most of the money goes to MCC. The one in New Hamburg has a quilt auction, and almost every church in the area has a booth where they sell food. Some sort of "meat on a bun" option is popular (says the vegetarian!) as are doughnuts, apple fritters, a pancake breakfast and spring rolls.

This year the sale, which was held on Saturday, had signs posted, explaining how all the money being raised was going to be used. I took pictures of some because I thought they did a great job of explaining what this is all about:
MCC does a lot of different stuff!

So this very long prelude brings me to what I want to write about today -- the Run For Relief. This is a run held in conjunction with the sale and you raise money to go towards MCC. Dave decided to do the 5km run and so Sam, Rachel and I signed up for the 2km Fun Run/Walk. Except for the fact that we had to get up at 6am to be at the run before 7:30, it was awesome!

We did the walk with Sam's friend from preschool and Sam walked about half the distance while his friend walked the whole way. So, seeing as I sent Sam and Rachel over the finish line first, I finished absolutely last! Ha ha ha! They timed the whole thing, and if you go to the timing page (which I won't link to, to protect the privacy of people participating), there I am in last place! They also have Rachel finishing two minutes ahead of Sam and me so I don't completely trust their times!!!
Dave did his first 5km and he did awesome! He finished in under half an hour and he felt good afterwards. I was so proud of him. And then we all got to wear our shirts all day so that was fun too. And then it was time to eat. Because, ironically, one of the ways you make money to feed hungry people is to pay a lot of money to stuff yourself with really good food. (And yes, I do think it's ironic.) And yes, you also run into all sorts of people you know so you visit a lot too.
As Dave and the kids were sitting and eating, a photographer from the local New Hamburg paper came and took some pictures of them. If they end up being published I will for sure provide a link.

While Dave and the kids were eating pancakes, I decided to indulge in some warenki (prounounced "va-ren-e-key") which are similar to perogies. It's basically a dough pocket stuffed with cottage cheese and then it's boiled and/or fried. It was one of my favourite things to eat growing up. My mom always boiled them and served them with cream gravy, fried onions and farmer's sausage. Yum yum yum!!! The reason I am cracking up in the first few pictures is that Dave was trying to hold Rachel and take pictures and Rachel was looking soooo funny and squashed.
Our whole family eating. Whoo hoo!
Then we walked around, talked to people, the kids played at the children's area for awhile, and right before we left, we ate some ice cream, which was made by a tractor! Bizarre, but true!
And then we went home, did some quick errands along the way, and I had a two hour nap because I was exhausted. And that was the end of our day. Oh, and with our family's run, we raised $250 so I was really happy about that and grateful to everyone who supported us. The End!


  1. That's awesome that your family raised so much money. I looks like you all had a log of fun!!!

    1. I was really pleased that people were so supportive of us. And we did have a lot of fun. Sam is already asking when the next one will be!

  2. What a fun event, and for such good causes!! Way to go Dave on doing an under-30-min 5k-- I'm impressed!

  3. Neal grew up eating perogies at his grandmother's house too...his grandmother's family was from Slovenia...I guess this is close to Russia? Clearly I need to brush up on geography?? :) (or become less lazy and type it into google)
    And a 5K in under 30 minutes?? I walked a mile in under 30 minutes....hah. Everyone out of the house and at destination by 7:30? Bless you.

    1. I think Slovenia is near to Russia. Obviously I too need to brush up on geography or Google :) And Dave laughed when he read your comment. I'm at about a mile in under 30 minutes too. And yes, I was most impressed by my family's early departure from the house. It was also the thing I was most worried about.


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