Make a Difference auction hits record $160K

The money, which will be matched four-to-one by the Canadian government, will go to help refugees

Bob Brandsma collects bids Thursday during McClary's Stockyard annual Make A Difference Auction for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. The auction raised money for food for people who have fled fighting in Africa.

Bob Brandsma collects bids Thursday during McClary's Stockyard annual Make A Difference Auction for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. The auction raised money for food for people who have fled fighting in Africa.

Thursday’s Make A Difference auction at McClary Stockyards raised a record amount of money, with final proceeds to Canadian Foodgrains Bank expected to near $160,000.

That’s an increase from last year, when the auction raised almost $115,000.

The money, which will be matched four-to-one by the Canadian government, will go to help refugees affected by conflict in South Sudan.

A wide array of goods were auctioned Thursday, from electronics and power tools, to feed for livestock – and livestock.

“We’re super happy with the way this turned out,” Rob Brandsma said, who credited those who gave – and bought – items for the event’s success. “You can’t have an event like this if nobody participates. From the donors to the volunteers helping out, it wouldn’t have gone off like it did if those people weren’t involved.

Since 2001, the annual auction has raised more than $1.4 million.

Funds raised at the sale will be used to help people in South Sudan. About one million people in that region are caught in a food crisis. After several years of peace, conflict is now raging between the government and a rebel group.

Many of those who are displaced are small-scale farmers, who depend on growing their own food in order to survive. Now living in refugee camps and host communities far from their farms, they are unable to plant their crops.

Canadian Foodgrains Bank is responding by providing food for people who have been impacted. This includes food for young children and pregnant and nursing mothers. Without proper nutrition during critical periods of growth and development, young children will suffer the results of the conflict and hunger their entire lives.

Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of 15 church and church-based agencies  working together to end global hunger.

Together, these churches and church-based agencies represent 30 denominations.