Welcome to Steinbach, Canada’s most generous city

On average, residents of this small Manitoba city donate 4.31 per cent of their income to charity, far above the national average of 0.62 per cent. Why?

Why It Matters

Steinbach’s culture of generosity traces its roots back to the city’s Anabaptist founders, but a lot has changed since 1874 — and more will change in the years to come.

STEINBACH / TREATY 1 — When the Mayor of Steinbach thinks about generosity, he thinks about cucumbers.

As a boy, his father would ask him and his siblings to organize gurkjen they harvested from their garden according to size; they kept the short lumpy ones for themselves, while the straightest, longest and ripest ones were set aside for neighbours unable to garden for themselves.

“That was a lesson I got taught, to give your best away,” says Earl Funk, who runs a family butcher shop when not attending to mayoral duties. “I think that’s a part of Mennonite culture, you know?”

Although he doesn’t currently attend a Mennonite church, Funk was — like many Steinbachers — raised in a Mennonite home, speaking Low German or Plautdietsch. He says the spirit of generosity is deeply rooted in the community of 18,000 and connections to its Mennonit


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