Amish community in Florida auctions quilts, raises $300K for Haiti relief

Members of the Amish and Mennonite communities in a Florida city were in stitches over the weekend.

Quilts auctioned off at the 23rd annual Florida Haiti Benefit Auction in Sarasota raised more than $300,000 for Haitian relief, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported. The two-day auction, which ended Saturday, helps raise money for the hungry, sick and homeless in Haiti, the newspaper reported.

Some of the quilts sold for more than $1,000. In addition to quilts, Amish-made furniture was also sold.

Tim Miller, chairman of the auction. said he visits Haiti three or four times a year and teaches people how to farm, the Herald-Tribune reported.

“I’ve always been intrigued by quilts,” Miller told the newspaper. “Growing up (in Ohio), we weren’t allowed to be artists. We were not allowed to go to school past eighth grade. I grew up quite conservative. But quilts were always a part of our history. You can come up with the wildest designs on quilts.”

Miller runs a furniture store in Sarasota. His great-great-grandfather became the first Amish bishop in Pinecraft, which is the Amish community located on the outskirts of the city, the Herald-Tribune reported.

The Amish and Mennonites live in harmony in the Florida sunshine and are particularly dedicated to helping people in Haiti, Miller told the newspaper.

“For some reason here, people lay the offenses of the past down,” Miller said.

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