Last year, the special giving at Mennonite Central Committee's annual Gap Relief sale helped fund emergency efforts in the Ukraine.
This year, the donation will go to assist MCC's mobile canning unit. The unit, which travels throughout the United States and into Canada every year, cans meat to be used in MCC's relief efforts. During this past season, the canner put up more than 700,000 24-ounce cans.
Joe Miller will talk about the canning unit's work during the first evening of the annual sale. Following Miller's talk at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 9, the offering will be taken.
Next season's canning begins in Ohio in early October, and goes to Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Illinois by the end of 2019. In January, 2020, it starts in Indiana and makes a stop in Ohio before coming to Pennsylvania in February. Three of the unit's 32 stops are in Lancaster County, including one scheduled for Kirkwood in March. The special offering will be part of the sale's 71st anniversary.
The first sale was held on Sam Stoltzfus's farm near Gap in 1948 and raised $5,000. After using several sites, the sale moved to the Solanco Fairgrounds in 2001.
A wooden blanket chest with an artist's depiction of the Stoltzfus farm was created for the sale's 50th anniversary in 1998. It was sold at the 1998 sale and re-donated for the 2018 sale. The family that bought it last year has donated it to be sold again this year.
This year's sale will also be held at the fairgrounds, S. Lime St. (Rt. 472), Quarryville. It will start with a roast pork dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, August 9. There will also be a preview of auction items from 4 to 9 p.m.
There will be special singing at 6:30 p.m., followed by the special offering. The auction gets underway at 7:30 Friday night.
A community blood drive will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday. Donors must bring a form of identification.
The sale will resume at 6 Saturday morning, August 10, with a country breakfast. Household items and crafts will be sold starting at 8:30 a.m. At 8:45, farm items, hardware, and tools will be sold.
The children's auction, where kids act as auctioneers and sell items for children, will start at 10 a.m. Shrubbery and outdoor furniture will be sold at 10:30 a.m., followed by large furniture at 11.
Special items will be sold at noon. They will include a new Amish spring wagon. Sheds and gazebos will be offered at 12:30 p.m., followed by quilts and wall hangings at 1 p.m.
All sale items are donated. Anyone who has an item to donate should call Levi Fisher at 717-529-6178, ext. 1, or Ammon Stoltzfoos at 717-786-0880.
Although the local sale was not the first to support MCC's work, it is the oldest one in continuous operation. For a time, the sale was held every other year. It has been an annual event for several decades. It is the MCC's third most productive fundraising effort. It is outstripped only by donations and proceeds from the group's thrift shops.