2022/2023 Annual Impact Report - Saskatchewan
Thank you from MCC Saskatchewan's executive director
In the Book of Comfort (Isaiah 40-55), the prophet uses the image
of water to remind the people that God seeks their restoration. This
invitation to the water is a beautiful gift to a people who have been
displaced from their homeland, battered by losses, thirsty for life and
MCC is a beautiful collection of churches, communities, families, and individuals who are seeking to restore lives, who are offering water into parched places, and who are building lifegiving relationships. This year you did these things through refugee sponsorship, with tangible gifts of relief buckets and school kits, through the activities of your local community thrift shop, by sponsoring Grow Hope acres, by participating in reconciliation opportunities, as well as through your generous financial gifts which empower MCC community partners here and around the world.
I invite you to explore and be encouraged by this collection of stories of peacebuilding, resilience, generosity, and hope. Thank you for offering water and healing in our thirsty and battered world. Thank you
for your part in sharing God’s love and compassion for all.
Eileen Klassen Hamm
Executive director, MCC Saskatchewan
Fundraising and church engagement
“We are deeply honoured by the generous engagement and gifts of people in Saskatchewan who entrust MCC to be a worthy conduit to orchestrate the kind of change they wish to see in the world.” - Rick Guenther, Communications & Donor Relations Director
Photo caption: Jill and Stu Mitchell visiting with Michelle and Brian Hergott at their Grow Hope Saskatchewan canola crop near Bruno, SK on the Field Day. (MCC photo/Rick Guenther)
donors contribute financially to the work of MCC
received in donations
received for MCC’s response to the conflict in Ukraine
donated for MCC’s response to the earthquake in Syria
The fifth season of this initiative resulted in another record year of contributions to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB). A total of $299,387 was raised through donations and grain sales from the 330 acres committed to the project by six farmers.
A field day was held in conjunction with the annual Cherry Sunday festival held in Bruno to promote the project. People were invited to meet farmers Brian and Michelle Hergott and see the canola crop they committed to the project.
This project is a collaboration of farmers, donors and agency reps from three distinct Christian expressions—Catholics, Baptists, and Mennonites—who work together to raise funds for the emergency food distribution and longterm sustainable food projects of each of their respective partner agencies of CFGB.
This year marked the second re-designed version of this annual gathering and fundraiser. The event consisted of a drive-thru lunch and a large festival tent where people could gather to eat and visit. Approximately 800 plates were served.
Several businesses sponsored the event, and MCC’s thrift shops in the province hosted special events in their own communities which raised over $11,000 for the fundraiser. The event also included an online auction, an online quilt sale, and an online evening fundraiser for a food project in Haiti. In total, $114,694 was raised through the various activities of this event.
"We volunteer because it gives us a sense of doing something worthwhile in our retirement and we like the feeling of accomplishment for what MCC can do to help people."- Wayne and Eileen McLaren have been volunteering at the MCC Centre in Saskatoon for 16 years. We are grateful for their many years of dedicated service.
Photo caption: Participants from a youth group from West Portal Church (Saskatoon, SK) learn to tie knots for comforters that will be sent overseas. (MCC photos/Karla Koehn)
Infant care kits
Material Resources highlight
Our annual Buckets of Thanks activity has grown into much more than packing Relief Kits during the Thanksgiving season.
This year, 17 small groups, representing about 375 people, packed kits and tied comforters on various occasions throughout the winter months. In addition, over $60,000 was donated to cover the cost of supplies for these kits. This generosity and hands on volunteer work is an expression of the gratitude within our constituency and the desire to help people in tangible ways who have experienced the struggles of weather or conflicted-related crises in countries like Ukraine, Jordan, Zambia and Iraq.
MCC Saskatchewan also developed partnerships with the STC Wellness Center and The Bridge to distribute comforters, mittens, and various hygiene items to those in need in Saskatoon and is also having conversations about distributing these items through MCC’s thrift shops in the province.
Photo caption: Excitement as the new Village Green MCC Thrift shop opened in January 2023 with over 14,000 square feet of retail space. (MCC photo/Lindi Mpofu)
raised for MCC programs around the world
donated to local charities and community organizations.
in valued items gifted to those in need
Photo caption: As part of the annual MCC Relief Sale, thrift shops
"took the Relief Sale to the people" and held events in their local communities (as pictured here in Herbert) and raised over $11,000. (MCC photo/ Lindi Mpofu)
50 years of MCC Thrift!
The year 2022 marked MCC’s 50th anniversary of thrift and we celebrated the work of many volunteers and staff, and the contributions of donors and customers. Each shop in Saskatchewan held events to celebrate their own story and what had been achieved in the name of Christ.
In November 2022, a Gala event was held at the Community Gift & Thrift shop in Lanigan as they celebrated paying off the mortgage on their building. Doing so in under 8 years is a testament to the faithful commitment of shop supporters.
After decades of service on 20th Street in the Riversdale neighborhood of Saskatoon, the two thrift shops there (Village Green Thrift, since 1975 and Village Green Furniture, since 2000) amalgamated and moved to a larger facility on Quebec Avenue and 33rd Street East. Customers, donors, volunteers, and staff are thrilled with the new location, the increased space, and the new Village Green MCC Thrift shop.
In addition to the contributions of the seven shops in Saskatchewan to MCC projects in 45 countries, they also provide strong support to individuals and initiatives in the communities they are part of, totaling $60,000 this year alone.
"I always said I would never volunteer in my life, until I walked into this store."– Samaya Saress about the Village Green Thrift Shop
Photo caption: Lutfullah Naiemi, a 28 year old Afghan refugee with members of his sponsorship group. (Photo credit: Linda Huard). Since the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan in 2021, interest in sponsoring Afghan refugees has increased. Thanks to the refugee sponsorship groups we partner with, this year we welcomed 12 Afghan refugees through the Operation Afghan Safety program. They were able to arrive relatively quickly compared to typical arrival timelines.
attendees learned from 13 educational speakers at our Peace Conference
peace and justice-themed learning sessions facilitated for 664 youth/young adults!
As churches and communities walk the path of reconciliation, we continue to come alongside them to provide content and relationship-building opportunities. This is an area of keen interest; while reconciliation related learning and events constitute 36% of our educational activities, attendance at them constitutes 70% of overall attendance.
The launch of the new documentary "Custodians: A Story of Ancient Echoes" about land, Indigenous artifacts and stewardship attracted over 250 audience members. MCC supported Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s Walking the Path group which commissioned the film with launch coordination and promotion.
“Land of Living Reconciliation: Seeking Common Ground” was held at Lakeview Church. It promoted Indigenous-settler reconciliation through consideration of land as watershed, colonial grid and healing medicine. Highlights included a screening/panel discussion of the new documentary "Custodians: A Story of Ancient Echoes", a scrumptious lunch and teaching by Métis Chef Jenni Lessard, and a learning session out on the land. You can find video recordings of all the sessions on our YouTube channel!
"My favourite parts of the conference were the wisdom of the Indigenous presenters, the openness of conversation at our tables, and the meal! AMAZING." – Conference attendee
This year we strengthened our partnerships with constituent schools and youth groups, offering educational sessions for more and larger groups of youth & young adults. Our team facilitated workshops like the KAIROS Blanket Exercise, You Got Booked, Non-Violent Communication and the Living Library to groups that included the Introduction to Peace students at St. Thomas More College, Inspire Our Nation youth, participants at SOAR Saskatchewan, and Rosthern Junior College students.
"'You Got Booked' is a fun way to learn about hard things." – Workshop participant
Through after-school programming, we provided inclusive, skillsbuilding programming for 38 at-risk youth in Meadowgreen. Programming expanded with the reintegration of Equine Assisted Learning and the introduction of a Gym Night. Raise the Peace camp in August had a Treaty theme, the highlight of which was an overnight trip to Wanuskewin Heritage Park where campers got to sleep in tipis and take part in cultural learning activities on the land.
"I highly recommend [helping out at the] Meadowgreen Kid’s Club; I looked forward to meeting up with the kids every week!"
– Courtney, practicum student
MCC Saskatchewan developed a new partnership with the Enneagram Prison Project, which is new to Canada, through which we co-facilitated in-prison programming at a provincial correctional centre in March for 16 participants. The course teaches Enneagram concepts in a trauma-informed way to promote self-awareness, selfregulation and self-compassion. Through this initiative, MCCS is working with Leanne Schellenberg of Hepburn Mennonite Brethren Church, our long-time restorative justice partner.
"Enneagram Prison Project’s compassionate curriculum… shifts our attention to what’s right about us rather than what’s wrong."
– Leanne Schellenberg, EPP Guide
MCC Saskatchewan is funded through the generosity of dedicated donors, grantors and thrift shops. In this year, donors continued to show their support through strong financial contributions. Donations to international program included $327,000 toward specific crisis responses in Ukraine and Syria, bringing relief and hope to people directly impacted by conflict and earthquake. Thrift shop staff, volunteers and shoppers were busy in this year, contributing $610,000 toward the work of MCC and supporting the relocation of the Village Green MCC Thrift Shop. Our community partners came alongside our local program work and provided grants that sustained new and existing projects. We are grateful to all of our financial supporters; it is through your partnership that we continue in the work of relief, development, and peace.
The financial information on this page represents the operations of MCC Saskatchewan for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023.
Saskatchewan program expenses
International program expenses
Thrift Shop contributions
Material resources in-kind
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