An Alternative Gift Market on Saturday in Marion raised $4,706 for a variety of charities, both local and throughout the world.
“I think it’s tremendous for the first time,” organizer Jackie Volbrecht said. “It’s fun to see it happen.”
Before the event, volunteers chose charities and made Christmas ornaments representing their charity. During the event, those volunteers encouraged visitors to donate to the charity they had chosen. Visitors who chose to donate to a charity received one of the corresponding ornaments.
Local charities represented included Shepherd’s Shed, which received $205; Families and Communities Together, $442; and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marion County, $444. A food court at the event raised $500 for Marion County Emergency Food Bank.
Other charities that benefited from the event were spread from the United States to Tibet, Volbrecht said.
Emmanuel Baptist, Valley United Methodist, Eastmoor United Methodist, Marion Christian, and Marion Presbyterian churches assisted in the event, as well as other local organizations, including Daisy Girl Scouts.
The Alternative Gift Market was in the fellowship hall of Marion Presbyterian Church. Volbrecht said she hopes the event outgrows the fellowship hall. She said her experience with the Alternative Gift Market in Wichita was that it grows every year.
Organizers have already scheduled a second annual Alternative Gift Market for Nov. 10, 2012.