Photo provided by John Martens

John Martens, a volunteer with the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale, has channeled his passion for MCC into creating unique quarter collectors to help churches and individuals raise funds for water projects through My Coins Count.

Thanks to My Coins Count, we know that our change can make a difference in the world. Pennies, nickels and dimes are great, but for John Martens with the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale in Goshen, Ind., quarters are where things really add up!

Martens has developed quarter collectors made from wooden bases with clear tubing that perfectly hold stacks of quarters. He has small collectors that hold a little over $25 all the way up to the largest one that holds $3,000!

Around 800 of the small collectors have been passed out to children and families with the larger collectors going to local churches throughout Michiana. Martens is working with local woodworkers to make more collectors and continue to spread the quarter-collecting spirit.

The idea was sparked by a trip to Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church in Inman, Kansas, where Martens saw a quarter collector in the foyer. “That’s it! I love it!” said Martens when he saw it.

Martens, along with his spouse Marty Suter, attends Belmont Mennonite Church in Elkhart, Ind. “We believe in the work of MCC. Our passion as a couple is MCC,” said Martens. “We take clean water for granted. To be able to give that gift of water to someone else is worth all the energy we put into it.”

The couple has big dreams for the project. They would love to collect a million quarters for the relief sale next year, including matching partnerships. They are also looking to start a $1,000 club where people make a commitment to donating $1,000 or more each year for a five-year period.

Martens has served on the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale Board for seven years, including as co-chair for two years and chair for four more years. What keeps Martens motivated is seeing people get excited and catch the passion for helping people around the world through MCC.

Since 1968, the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale has been raising funds to support the projects and programs of MCC, a worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches. The sale is one of 40 relief sale events in the U.S. and Canada that together raise over five million dollars annually. The sale is made possible with the help of hundreds of volunteers who contribute their time and resources. This 2019 sale will take place on September 27-28 at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind.

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