Ohio Haiti Auction critical to missions aiding a hurting nation

Ohio Haiti Auction critical to missions aiding a hurting nation
Dave Mast

The Ohio Haiti Benefit Auction in Mt. Hope remains one of the key financial resources for 18 different missions that have dedicated themselves to helping the people of Haiti in many different ways.


The people of Haiti, the many missions who serve them and the Ohio Haiti Benefit Auction are much like a three-legged stool: Take any one of them away and the stool becomes unstable.

All three legs are needed to make the stool accomplish the purpose it was designed to do, and thus, the stool concept came together recently for a cause.

The people of Haiti and Amish Country drew one step closer Friday and Saturday, Sept. 4-5, without ever physically getting together.

While the turnout at the annual Ohio Haiti Benefit wasn’t quite as large as it has been in the past due to COVID-19 issues, those who did turn out for the event were more than willing to open up their wallets and purse strings to show their support for the people of Haiti.

Ever since Willis Miller visited the country decades ago and saw the dire need and people in agony due to a massive lack of drinking water, the Ohio Haiti Benefit Auction has served as one of the major support avenues for the 18 different Haiti mission organizations that bring life, hope and faith to the people of Haiti.

“This whole thing started with the vision of one man,” said Daniel Miller, Ohio Haiti Benefit Auction chairman. “It goes to show you how one person’s vision can touch the lives of a nation. We can all play a role in that mission.”

That connection to the people of Haiti has grown and developed ever since, with relationships being built as the missions lend a hand in the way they felt called by God.

“Haiti has become a special place for the people here,” Miller said.

Joy Yutzy, along with her daughter, Michelle, has been preparing the authentic Haitian rice and beans meal for the event since 2013 and has served nearly seven years in missions in Haiti through Blue Ridge Missions. She said she and the many others who choose to connect with the people of Haiti and serve them have witnessed the great need.

Yutzy said the people who give during this auction might never realize how critical their support is to the cause.

Whether it is drilling wells, providing food, building schools and churches or creating educational opportunities that allow the people of Haiti to become more self-sustaining, each of the 18 different mission organizations supported by the auction have their own unique way to reach out and touch the people of Haiti.

“This support is huge,” Yutzy said. “These missions depend on the funds they receive from this auction to keep their mission work going. They do have other avenues of support, but this one is so important to what each mission is trying to accomplish.”

Yutzy said while each mission is unique in its own way, one of the gifts that arises from the entire scope is how these missions work hand in hand to benefit the people of Haiti. She said unity among the missions and the relationships built between the people who serve in the different missions are as valuable as the relationships the missionaries build with the people of Haiti.

“It is very much a spirit of working together,” Yutzy said. “No one mission is more important than the other, and it's the same here at the auction, where everyone involved plays their own role to make it all come together.”

Daniel Miller said each of the missions in attendance is reliant upon the funds created through auction, adding the money allows them to do a specific work, as well as bring the message of hope through Christ to the nation.

The auction itself was loaded, proving even during a tough economic time surrounding COVID-19 that the people of this area are more than willing to give. In addition, they were willing to pony up and spend in their support, with prices for the big ticket items bringing on strong bids throughout the auction day.

Aaron Miller of Kaufman Auction & Realty said the Friday night turnout for the entertainment portion of the event was as good as ever, and while he felt attendance for the auction was down perhaps 20%, those who did attend stepped up. He said the furniture items did really well because of the quality of items that were donated by area businesses.

“That is the heart of the people who donate and come to purchase,” Aaron Miller said. “We can’t stress enough how much we appreciate all of them. We simply couldn’t do this if it weren’t for their kindness and generosity.”

All of the funds that are created through that kindness, compassion and commitment turn into opportunity for the many missions that in turn make it their priority to pass along that love and compassion to the people of Haiti.

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