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SPRING 2021 ❁ BC HOLSTEIN NEWS 33
 Generosity of Farming Community Leads to
Record-Breaking Year for Make A Difference Sale
Amanda Thorsteinsson, Canadian Foodgrains Bank
BC’s agricultural community has once again come through for hungry people around the world, with a record-breaking year for the Make a Difference Sale.
Almost $320,000 was raised from the sale of cattle, agricultural services and supplies, food, wine, and other items. Proceeds from the Make a Difference Sale, held at the beginning of March, will be used to help people experiencing hunger around the world through Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
“The generosity of our agricultural community here throughout BC and the lower mainland is amazing,” says Rob Brandsma, who along with his father, Bob Brandsma, heads up the auction organizing committee each year.
“We couldn’t do it without this community. There’s our volunteer organizing committee that solicits donations, the farmers who donate cattle, business owners who make donations, and even the cattle haulers who bring all the cattle over to Abby Stockyards. On top of that, we need buyers to purchase
the donated items, so without this group of generous people, we wouldn’t have eclipsed our total from last year.”
Brandsma, who has traveled overseas with the Foodgrains Bank to Ethiopia to see hunger response projects firsthand, also notes the generosity of the individual bidders. He recalls, for example, a farmer who came in on pickup day to retrieve the itemhe’dwonthatonlycosthimabout$300, but instead came with a cheque for $1,500.
As to the record-setting year, Brandsma chalks it up partially to the online nature of the event and the additional exposure beyond the usual participants. He notes that in normal times, the auction is a loud and noisy social event that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. This year, people could calmly sit down at their computer and place their bids. The calm atmosphere didn’t stop bids from skyrocketing, though. “In the last hour, it
was still neat to see the flurry
of bidding and to see who was bidding on what,” says Brandsma, noting two friends bidding against each other for a golf trip, and two brothers in a bidding war for an expensive bottle of wine.
The other reason for the record-setting year? “I think people are just a little bit more generous right now,” he says. “More cattle
came through this year, for example, from farmers that had never donated a cow to the auction before. So, it is great to see the awareness grow, and more people willing to get involved and donate.”
“It sounds a bit cliché,” he says, “but it really is neat to see farmers coming together to make a difference.”
  Thank You!!
 To all those who bid online and supported this year’s Canadian Foodgrains Bank Make A Difference Fundraising Auction. It was a big success and we are so very grateful to all the volunteers, the donors, and all those who participated in the online Auction. Thanks for all your continued support!
 canadianfoodgrainsbankabbotsfordauction
email: brandsma.rob@gmail.com
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