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History of MCC

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) was formed when representatives of various Mennonite conferences met July 27-28, 1920, in Elkhart, Ind., and pledged to aid hungry people, including Mennonites, in Russia and Ukraine.

The goal of the first three MCC workers, Orie O. Miller, Clayton Kratz and Arthur Slagel, was to deliver aid in Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. Kratz disappeared and was believed killed. Miller and Slagel returned. Since then, more than 13,000 people have served one-, two-, three- and five-year assignments with MCC. Thousands of others have volunteered in thrift shops, at relief sales and in other ways.

Through the years, MCC has worked to follow the call of Matthew 25:35-36 to reach out to those who are hungry, thirsty, ill or in prison and to welcome strangers. Many Mennonites have experienced war, hunger and refugee flight and long to respond to people facing crises today. "This donation is given in thanks for help we received many years ago," writes one woman. "When I was a child in Russia, I was fed by MCC. When my husband was a prisoner of war after World War II, he received help from MCC. We never forgot."

MCC’s work in the U.S. began in the 1930s and 1940s with peace and justice activity and advocating for alternatives to military service for conscientious objectors to war. Today, in addition to the national work of MCC U.S., four regional offices – MCC Central States, MCC East Coast, MCC Great Lakes and West Coast MCC – carry out programming and support MCC’s work around the world.

Read more about MCC’s current work around the world or in the U.S.