Author: Dueckman, Amy
Date published: January 23, 2012
Citizens of Abbotsford, B.C., can give themselves a pat on the back for being named "most generous community in Canada," according to Statistics Canada. This is the ninth consecutive year that StatsCan has recognized the metropolitan Abbotsford and Mission census area for giving the most per capita nationally in charitable donations, an average of $620 in 2010, well ahead of Victoria, B.C., and Calgary, that tied for second place at $390 per capita. Charitable donations claimed on tax forms in 2010 by Abbotsford area residents totalled $74 million. Could the large Mennonite population in the area be a factor? Sometimes called the "Bible Belt of Canada," with the highest church attendance in the country, Abbotsford is home to 14 Mennonite and Mennonite Brethren-affiliated churches, with additional Mennonite congregations in nearby Aldergro ve and Mission. Wayne Bremner, executive director of Mennonite Central Committee B.C., noted in the Abbotsford News that the large Mennonite population in Abbotsford is generous in supporting MCC programs around the world. "Of course, it's not just Mennonites," he is quoted as saying. "It's people in the community. Other faith groups have a similar story.'
- BY AMY DUECKMAN