Christmas shopping at our Alternative Gift Market will be better than ever this year with the inclusion of beautiful hand-crafted items from artisans and farmers living in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and other developing regions of the world.
Central is offering these gifts in partnership with SERRV, a nonprofit organization with 60 years of experience, dedicated to eradicating poverty by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide, who are paid fair trade prices for their work.
Every gift has a story behind it, and each purchase helps an artisan like A. Dowlethbee, a basket weaver in India who says, “Customers who buy our baskets can be a part of creating a future for us.”
- Beautiful scarf made in Cambodia
- Wooden Nativity Set made in Sri Lanka
- Table Runner made in India
- Fair-trade coffee, chocolate and tea
- Much more…
In addition to these gifts, the Alternative Gift Market will continue to offer the opportunity to make a donation to an organization that is doing good work in the world. If you give to one of these organizations, you will know you are making a difference.
These five organizations are part of the Alternative Gift Market this year:
Heifer International, which has been helping to end hunger and poverty since 1944 by providing struggling families all around the world with gifts of livestock and training. A gift of $120, for example, will buy a goat or a sheep, or a gift of $20 will buy ducks and geese.
VocalPoint, affiliated with Central, which presents music for a purpose by singers for a cause. Jennifer Anderson, music director at Central, is the VocalPoint director, and the February concerts are presented in Central’s sanctuary. Neighborhood House is the beneficiary organization for the VocalPoint concerts this February.
Located just a few minutes away from Central, Neighborhood House provides the tools needed to help break the cycle of poverty through four main programs: basic needs, youth leadership, adult and family education, and community building. More than 15,000 people are served each year.
Martha’s Closet, located at Central, provides free interview and work clothing for low-income women in St. Paul. Guests, who have been referred by a social service agency, are invited to shop for the outfits they need and often go away feeling encouraged by the beautiful donated clothing they find.
The Jeremiah Program, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization whose proven approach transforms families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time. With campuses in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Jeremiah offers single mothers and their young children a safe, affordable place to live, quality early childhood education, life skills training, and support for career-track education.
The Alternative Gift Market will be open after worship on Dec. 8, 15, and 22, as well as during Wednesday Lunch on December 11 and 18. Denny Reimer is coordinating the market this year, with help from other members of the Coordinated Mission Committee and Jennifer Anderson.