By Kaitlin Goulart, Kaitlin McManus, Kait Kelleher, Jordan Willis, Emma Driscoll, and Becky Hopkins
Over the weekend of November 13 and 14, the Alternative Gift Market was held at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church where both children and adults could come and purchase presents for families in need and supplies for organizations from both here and many third world countries. Some local charities represented were the Hunger Network and CIGSYA. Some of the possible gifts included different varieties of food, animals, medicine, and school supplies.
To make a purchase, you would get informed by the vendors of the items available, and then you could mark down on a yellow receipt what you were buying and the quantity. After giving the receipt to the vendors, they returned a card with an insert inside of it. The card and insert are a symbol of hope for someone else in the world because you helped a family by giving them a goat or chicks or even a tree. Cherry O’Malley said “The market is a very nice way to give presents and you can either give locally or even to Africa or Haiti”
There are many other ways that the organization has been earning money for the charitable causes, like the youth bake sale. Adrian, who works at one of the bakery stands, said “This is a much bigger turn out then last year, and along with it, a better bake sale. Yesterday I made $200.00 alone.” All of the profits ($450.00) from the bake sale go to the Alternative Gift Market (AGM). As well as the bake sale, other people set up booths with beautiful, brightly-colored scarves for sale, hand bags, jewelry from different countries, and ornaments.
One vendor, a man named Craig Bautz, is responsible for CAPEable Adventures which is a local organization for disabled people of all ages. He started this business in 2007 providing recreational sports for people with all types of disabilities. Some activities are biking, golfing, kayaking, sailing, and even skiing. Some of the reactions of visitors were, “WOW, that’s cool!” and “I didn’t know you were there.” He said if he were invited back next year he would definitly come.
Rebekah Nicolas, an 8th grader at Cape Cod Academy, is here on a student visa from Haiti. She ran a table at the market for her parent’s orphanage in Haiti. “The people who have visited my stand have learned a lot about what is going on at the orphanage. They also donated greatly, and I think that if I am invited I will defiantly come back next year.”
If you run out of ideas for Christmas presents, then the Alternative Gift Market is perfect for you! The Heifer International project is great because you can “Give the Gift of Giving”, like buying chicks for a family out in Africa or a tree for someone in Haiti. A buyer named Sinica Du likes that she can help out poor girls around the world. Janice Hank, one of the volunteers said, “This is probably the best year out of all four years we have been doing this. It is also a great cause because you can pick something local or something in another country or continent!”
You should come and check this out next year in mid November or check out some of the organizations to help out families and kids!
See you there!