This week, the wardens are recognizing a unique holiday event in its third year at the Cathedral. This column written by Stephanie Wilson-Scott contains more information about the Alternative Gift Market.

St. John’s 3rd Annual Alternative Gift Market will be held Sunday, Dec. 1st in Kaseman Hall from 9 am – 1 pm. What is an Alternative Gift Market, you ask? The Alternative Gift Market is a market in which you will not walk away with stuff to give away, but a service or a donation to a non-profit or organization of your choice. Representatives will be available to answer questions and give you more information about their organizations. They will also offer ways for you to donate or have creative ways to “purchase” items they need for their organization to function.

Example: Barrett House is a home for women and children who are homeless. They are in need of items to help women get back on their feet. As a “shopper,” you might purchase a set of bed sheets for $10 or children’s books for clients for $20. Rather than purchase the items, you donate to Barrett House, who will purchase these items. They, in turn, will give you a wonderful card to give as a gift explaining what donation you made.

Heifer International is a nonprofit organization that provides animals to rural communities to help them make money from the animals and give back to their community. For instance, as a shopper, you might purchase four chickens for $25, or a hive of bees for $30 or a whole cow for $200. Heifer will, in turn, send these animals to villages where the community can now have eggs from the chickens, milk from the cows and honey to sell from the bees. Heifer Int’l would give you a card explaining where the animal(s) are being sent and how your gift impacts that community.

The market is a unique way to help you shop for family and friends who have plenty of “stuff”, or hard-to-shop-for folks who have everything they need or people who just want to help others. Please come and see if there is something that piques your interest. If you know of an organization or nonprofit you think might want to participate, please let me know.  Also, tell your friends, neighbors, and colleagues about the market. If you would like a flyer to distribute, let me know.

If you would like to be a part of the Alternative Gift Market team – cashiers, advertising people, hosts, etc., let me know.  I hope to see you at the Alternative Gift Market on Dec. 1st.

With many blessings,
Stephanie Wilson Scott, [email protected]