• Last modified 502 days ago (Nov. 2, 2017)


Market turns focus on worldwide giving

News editor

If you want to save the world but are a bit short on time, there’s an opportunity coming up Saturday to dig wells, nourish the hungry, shelter the homeless, equip a hospital, rescue children from sex trafficking, protect sea turtles, and much more in five hours or less.

The Alternative Gift Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Marion Community Center isn’t a place to pick up unique goods from around the world, although a few such items will be for sale.

Rather, the market gives people opportunities to make financial donations to charities both local and global as alternatives to buying something for someone else.

“It’s an alternative to going out and buying more trinkets and junk,” Ruth Reed of Marion said.

Gifts given in honor of someone are recognized by cards that can be given to them.

Local individuals and groups sponsor each charity, providing a table with displays, information, and ornaments free for the taking.

“Each of us has a Christmas tree, and ornaments on it that are handmade,” Reed said. “Mine were wheelchairs last time. Some of them are really unique. They’re very attractive.”

Some booths may have ornaments that aren’t handmade, she said.

Four Marion-Florence school classes and Tabor College students have joined the market this year for a service activity connected to their education. Individuals, couples, families, and churches also will sponsor a total of 30 charities.

No money exchanges hands at the tables. Shoppers carry a checklist and note the charities and amounts they want to give, and then check out.

“The people at the booth never know if they donate or not,” Margaret Pickering of Marion said.

Marion Presbyterian Church will have fair trade coffee for sale, and sales of jewelry, scarves, purses, and other items by Trades of Hope will benefit empowerment and entrepreneurship programs for women.

Iris Blackketter, Clarita Caudill, Keith Allison, and Anita Hancock will be playing keyboard and Galen Obermeyer play guitar throughout the event. FamLee Bakery will be selling baked goods.

“It’s so festive and lively with the music playing and the food and people mingling,” Reed said. “It’s a fun place to be on a Saturday.”

Last modified Nov. 2, 2017