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Auction benefits Haiti missions

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The Indiana & Michigan Haiti Benefit Heifer Auction was held at the Shipshewana Auction Barn in Shipshewana, IN on Tuesday, March 28. Over 130 animals were sold to support agricultural projects in Haiti.

The second annual sale featured bred heifers, bull calves, and one kid goat which garnered a $1000 bid. When asked if he was surprised at the amount collected for the baby, committee member Loren Shaum admitted he was. The sale continued with an understanding that the money was going for more than just an animal; it would be helping someone who was looking to make a living working the land in Haiti.

“All the money raised will be given to the missions with the understanding that it will be applied for the development of agriculture and other self-help programs,” Shaum said. There are 14 organizations that will benefit from the fundraiser.

Self-help programs are a very useful way to assist those in need by providing them with the necessary tools, equipment, and materials to start their own business. For example, a person wants to start selling plants, so they are given the supplies needed to build a greenhouse. Along with the building, they may be able to purchase the various necessities for growing their own stock. Several of the organizations also provide financial counselling and support.

A lunch stand was available to contribute to the day’s total with donations for the food. In addition to the animals sold on Tuesday, a group of butcher cows were offered at the weekly livestock auction on Wednesday at the Auction Barn.

While all the animals were donated in support of Haitian agriculture, the owners weren’t the only generous ones. Martin’s Meats in Wakarusa gave brats and hot dogs for the sandwiches sold and Dr. Yoder, DVM of Goshen volunteered to check the livestock prior to the sale. The Shipshewana Auction Barn was provided for the sale as well as the clerking, office details and auctioneering, courtesy of the owners.

Due to the work of the committee members, the donations from all around the area, and the giving spirit of the day, the group will distribute over $100,000 for these special agricultural projects in Haiti.

The annual sale is planned for the last Tuesday of March in 2018. The committee is continually looking for animals to sell from baby calves to cull cows. If someone is interested in raising a calf to donate or provide an animal for the sale, they are invited to call Shaum at 574-340-5560. He is also able to answer questions and accept monetary donations for the ongoing needs in Haiti.

For those who really want to help sooner, there are other organizations that are providing relief to the people in Haiti. On the Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, the Shipshewana Flea Market grounds will be hosting the Indiana Haiti Benefit Sale.

The Friday evening activities include a dinner, singing group, and an hour-long auction. Saturday will feature a haystack breakfast and other edible delights, two auctions, and the opportunity to visit with those who work in Haiti with the missions that are benefiting from the sale.

There are several Haiti Benefit sales held throughout the United States including one in Ohio during the Labor Day weekend.