It’s no secret that I work for a non-profit agency and as such, I understand that charities survive because of the generosity of compassionate people. Last weekend, I visited beautiful Black Creek, BC and attended the MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) World Relief Fair. MCC BC has 3 such events each year and this is the smallest, most relaxed of the three. It’s held on the grounds of the community hall. There are clowns, a petting zoo and pony rides to keep kids happy, local musicians entertain, there’s a bake sale and lots of great food, auctions and a rummage sale.
You may not be aware of this, but Mennonites have a reputation for thrift. They also have a reputation for doing good work. So when you’re faced with an event that pits thrift and generosity against each other, it makes for an interesting experience. After all, the more money you make, the more good work you can do; but you still want a good deal. What to do?
For some folks, it just means going with the intention of spending money for a good cause and having a good time doing it. At the live auction, two fellas bid against each other for a rocking chair that neither particularly wanted and the winner ended up paying probably twice or more what it was actually worth. But it was fun to watch! I know that some people in Black Creek wait to buy their bedding plants at the World Relief Fair because they know they’ll get great plants and that their money will support MCC.
And what did I do? Went to the rummage sale, of course. I figure, I can be generous here too – the more I buy, the more MCC gets. It’s win-win! The rummage sale truly was a place to rummage around and find a treasure. My hubby even got into the spirit of things and grabbed a box to lay our treasures in.
We picked up some books, since neither of us seem to be able to walk past a book table without at least stopping to browse. John was happy to find a Grisham he hadn’t read yet.
I was excited to find a travel Scrabble set in great condition. We’re planning a trip to Scotland in September, maybe this will go along!
Some might find this mug a little sacrilegious and will be scandalized to know I bought it for my son. Oh well, we have a warped sense of humour, what can I say?
I also have a thing for lighthouses, since John asked me to marry him at Lighthouse Park. So I couldn’t pass up this outdoor thermometer for a quarter.
We picked up a couple of other things here and there, ate borscht, watermelon and rollkuchen, farmer sausage on a bun, John drank lots of coffee. The event brought in nearly $20,000 which is pretty sweet – I think that folks managed to satisfy their inner cheapskate and be generous at the same time.
How about you? Have you ever faced the generous cheapskate dilemma?