LINDSBORG, Kan., November 30, 2011—Bethany College’s tenth annual Alternative Gift Market, where shoppers buy donations for reputable charity groups around the world, is open this weekend on Friday, December 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday, December 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Levin Room of Pihlblad Memorial Union.
Instead of traditional presents, the Alternative Gift Market provides shoppers the opportunity to make donations and receive a small item in return as a token of their generosity. “The Alternative Gift Market is a wonderful tradition on our campus,” said Campus Pastor Noni Strand. “Students learn about the needs of people around the world and can contribute their efforts to strengthen communities to be more self-sustaining. At the same time, we offer an alternative way to give during the holidays: investments in these communities, rather than just more stuff.”
Bethany’s Alternative Gift Market is part of Alternative Gifts International, an interfaith agency that raises funds for global gifts through nationwide gift markets and individual donors. Ninety percent of donations go directly to the charities, with only ten percent held for administrative costs. Grants then are sent to the established international projects of reputable non-profit agencies for relief and development.
Handcrafted items, home-baked goods, artisan breads, jewelry, and knitted items will be available at the market, with proceeds going to Alternative Gifts International.
Original prints by Swedish artist Jordi Arkö, Bethany’s 2011 Pearson Distinguished Professor of Swedish Studies, will also be available at the Alternative Gift Market with proceeds supporting Alternative Gifts International. Arkö made the print, “The Swedish Rooster,” especially for Bethany’s Market. Each print, individually numbered and signed, is valued at $300. Shoppers are asked to donate an amount appropriate for the print and for the charitable projects of the Alternative Gift Market. The suggested donation price is $150.
Arkö unveiled “The Swedish Rooster” print at his public address on November 1, which was sold via silent auction. The winner of the auction will also be announced at the Alternative Gift Market.
All new students participate in the market as part of their Bethany seminar class. Students learn about a charity cause, make a display, host booths, and help plan and promote the event. The 35 charity gifts to be promoted at the market are:
- Wholesome Meals for Haiti’s Children: meals and nutritional supplements for children in Haiti (via Partners in Development)
- Feed the Hungry and Shelter the Homeless: groceries for families in the U.S. (via AGI)
- Educate Orphaned Children: annual school fees and school supplies for primary school children in China (via Threshold Ministries)
- Mobilize Disabled Children for Education: leather straps for leg braces and brace-adapted shoes for children in Congo (via StandProud)
- Literacy for Survival: adult literacy training in Haiti (via Beyond Borders)
- Hopeful Future for Kenya’s Orphaned Children: uniforms, shoes, and school fees and community education encouraging the education of girls, elimination of female genital mutilation, and elimination of early forced marriage in Kenya (via Expanding Opportunities)
- Help Kids Stay in School: school uniforms and supplies to children in Myanmar (via Myanmar Children’s Foundation)
- Books for the Joy of Reading: books for schools and libraries in Nicaragua (via Trees for Life)
- Health and Hope for Orphaned Infants: high-quality baby formula for infants in China (via Love Without Boundaries)
- Anti-Parasite Vaccines for Children: vaccines for families around the world (via Legacy of Healing)
- Where Most Needed fund: donations to emergency disaster relief around the world (via AGI)
- Safe Motherhood Kits: Safe Motherhood KitTM to expectant mothers in Haiti and around the world (via IMA World Health)
- Save the Forest and Feed a Family: fruit and hardwood trees for families with field training in Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama (via Sustainable Harvest International)
- Plant Trees and Seeds of Hope: plant trees and orchards in Burundi, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Tanzania, and Thailand (via Plant with Purpose)
The global mission of Alternative Gifts International is to send authentic, life-giving gifts to a needy world – gifts that build a partnership with people in crisis and that protect and preserve the earth’s endangered environment – to nourish and sustain a more equitable and peaceful global community. For more information, visit www.alternativegifts.org.
Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning and service. Bethany College is on the Web at www.bethanylb.edu/.
Caption: “The Swedish Rooster” by Swedish artist Jordi Arkö
(785) 227-3380, ext. 8230
335 East Swensson Street
Lindsborg, KS 67456