In the 1940s, as war raged across Europe, people in Canada and the U.S. answered the call for relief through MCC, providing funds, food and many tons of clothing and other supplies.
That made a critical difference for families and children such as Mary (photo above, last name not known). On a cold winter day, John Coffman helped the 11-year-old find winter clothing and new shoes and stockings. Mary was the youngest of eight children. Her home had been bombed the previous winter, and her family slept each night in an underground shelter. She came in with only light slippers, the soles worn through in many places, and stockings with hardly any feet left in them.
And, in aiming to live out a Christian mission in word and deed, Coffman and his wife Eileen made a suggestion that would shape MCC for decades to come.
In April 1941, the couple wrote to MCC leaders to say that including a label on donated clothing with a “little slogan such as: In the Name of Christ” might “be useful in promoting the cause of Christ, as we administer the clothing which is made and donated by our people.”
That label began to appear not only on donated clothing but also on relief supplies such as comforters, Christmas bundles and cans of meat, bearing a witness to MCC's Christian motivation that has reached millions of people — not only in Europe, but in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.