West Coast Mennonite Central Committee opened the doors to the first MCC Global Center in Reedley, Calif., on Feb. 24.
The former fabric shop has been expanded to offer educational, art and relief programming and create a social space for community members. It will give opportunities to learn about MCC and participate in its global work.
“Enjoy the amenities here, use the immigration services, browse through the quilts and artwork, take a sewing class or learn to quilt,” said Kevin Malamma, West Coast MCC board chair. “Or enjoy coffee from the coffee bar. This place is for you.”
Visitors have the opportunity to pay for a school kit and assemble it. Or they can sign up to volunteer or purchase other kinds of kits MCC sends to people in need around the world. Upstairs they can visit the quilt museum.
“The MCC Global Center is a reimagined space that builds on over 100 years of Mennonite Central Committee’s relief, development and peace work,” said Dina González-Piña, executive director of West Coast MCC. “Through this new center, we create a space that embraces tradition and works for a future where global citizens — people with a consciousness toward global justice — are developed.”
Visitors are greeted by the aroma of Café Justo’s coffee beans sitting on a shelf made from a church pew. The coffee — grown, harvested and processed by fairly paid farmers and staff — is available at a self-serve coffee bar made from former grape crates.
Tapestries and murals created by Cynthia Velazquez, West Coast MCC community artist and educator, are displayed on the walls. The five murals represent each continent where MCC works. Some of the tapestries are from countries where MCC has programming.
MCC U.S. executive director Ann Graber Hershberger attended the open house.
“MCC and the city of Reedley have a longstanding history of working together,” she said. “I hope the MCC Global Center will continue to expand MCC’s work and form deep and fruitful relationships with the communities in the Central Valley.”
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