More than 80 shoppers raised $20,340 for local, national and international charities during the eighth Alternative Christmas Gift Market held Nov. 10 at the Wellness Center in the Cedars Village.
The market, sponsored by the Outreach Team of the McPherson Church of the Brethren, showcased the activities of 21 charities. In return for their donations, shoppers received recognition cards to give to their loved ones in lieu of traditional gifts.
Since the market’s inception in 2005, organizers have promoted the market as a way to reclaim Christmas from commercialization and consumerism. Cumulative proceeds have now topped $138,000. Each booth at this year’s market offered literature describing that particular charity’s mission and vision. In addition, several booths offered tangible gift items such as stuffed animals, t-shirts and books.
This year’s charities were Brethren Disaster Ministries, Cedars Resident Assistance Fund, Church World Service, Churches United in Ministry, Ethiopia Reads, Foods Resource Bank, Habitat for Humanity International, Haiti Medical Project, Heifer International, McPherson College Student Service Projects, McPherson County Food Bank, McPherson ReUse It Center, Mt. Hope Sanctuary, New Community Project, On Earth Peace, PET-Kansas (wheelchairs), Salvation Army, SERRV, STEP of McPherson County, Trees for Life and Ulster Project.