Shop for charitable gifts at the Alternative Gift Market

Alternative Gift marketShop Bethany College’s Alternative Gift Market from Nov. 9 to 16 in downtown Lindsborg at Connected Fair Trade on 131 N. Main Street. The market will be open during normal store hours, on Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday from 12:30 to 5 p.m.

The market offers shares of charitable projects through Alternative Gifts International, an interfaith agency that raises funds for global gifts through nationwide gift markets and individual donors. Shoppers will learn about numerous charitable projects and choose to which they want to contribute. In return, they receive an ornament as a token of appreciation. Instead of a traditional present, they can give the ornament to let the recipient know a charitable donation has been made in their name.

“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.”

This is Bethany’s twelfth annual market, but this year’s is bigger than ever before. Lindsborg’s business community has partnered with Bethany’s freshmen to learn about a project, craft an ornament, and host the market. These partnerships help new students get to know their new community and help community members get to know the new class. Business owners also teach the students presentation skills and how to welcome shoppers to the market.

“This is a terrific way for Bethany and Lindsborg to learn from each other in service to other communities around the world,” says Director of Communications Stephanie McDowell. “This project represents so many of Bethany’s core values and Missional Directions of Excellence, and we are excited to work with Lindsborg community members.”

This year’s market is also different in that Connected Fair Trade will host it for a week instead of Bethany holding it for only two days on campus. Bethany alumna Amy Kay Pavlovich owns Connected, which promotes and sells fair trade in the Midwest by purchasing almost all products from members of the Fair Trade Federation. Connected is on the web at www.connectedfairtrade.com.

The Lindsborg partners and their projects are as follows.

  • Children’s Center – Giving desks and chairs for rural students in China
  • Connected Fair Trade – Providing warmth and comfort to the sick in North Korea
  • Family Hair Studio – Helping rebuild futures in Zimbabwe
  • Hairymolairys – Providing safe homes for orphans in Mexico
  • Lindsborg Community Library – Empowering students for the future in Kenya
  • Lindsborg Realty – Saving lives with bicycles in Namibia, Kenya, and Zambia
  • Small World Gallery – Supporting family vegetable gardens around the world
  • Swedish Country Inn – Giving stability for farming families in Ethiopia
  • The Bouquet Shoppe – Funding rabbits, bees, and trees, in Haiti
  • The Good Merchant – Teaching Untouchables a trade in India
  • The White Peacock – Funding fresh water wells for villages in South Sudan
  • Turner Photography – Funding “Hugging Grannies” for orphans in China

“We extend our gratitude and appreciation to all our Lindsborg partners for sharing their time and talents, especially Amy Kay Pavlovich and Connected for generously hosting the market. Our students will benefit tremendously from this partnership,” says McDowell.

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.

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