The First Presbyterian Church Alternative Gift Fair is an easy and meaningful way to bypass the annual stress of holiday shopping and “stuff” accumulation while honoring friends and relatives with donations to causes that fit in their values. What’s more, the Alternative Gift Fair provides critical support to three ministries important to the outreach and mission of our church: Loaves and Fishes, Heifer International, and Solutions Center. Giving alternative gifts simplifies Christmas with gifts that give hope in our community and throughout the world.
HOW DOES IT WORK? Beginning November 26th and running through December 17th, information will be available in the narthex highlighting the work of the three organizations featured in this year’s Alternative Gift Fair. To shop for alternative gifts, you decide on the amount you will give and write one check. You will receive a card to present to each friend or family member telling of the gift given in their honor.
ALTERNATIVE GIFT FAIR ORGANIZATIONS
GOD’S PRESENCE IN THE WORLD
The HOPE of God
If you can’t feed a hundred people then feed just one ~ Mother Theresa
For the past two decades, the Loaves & Fishes program has been providing a warm, nutritional meal and genuine hospitality for the needy of Fond du Lac. Twice a week, a group of volunteers has gathered to serve from 200 to 350 meals to anyone who comes to the door. Sometimes they may not be hungry for food but for companionship. Lonely people are hungry too; we never judge. This is everyone’s program. It is ecumenical and covers all faiths. Hundreds of volunteers have taken turns pitching in to prepare these meals, serve the guests and clean up afterwards. Loaves and Fishes is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
The LOVE of God
The Mission of Solutions Center of Fond du Lac County is to provide loving support to those oppressed by poverty and violence. This is done through confidential support service, safe haven facilities, and guidance in moving from a place of need to a place of independence. The campus consists of a women’s shelter that houses 24 women and children and a men’s shelter that houses 15 men and children. Solutions Center offers therapy for children and adults suffering from abuse. A Child and Teen Advocate helps educate on healthy relationships. Solutions Center relies heavily on donations to provide life-saving programs and services.
The PEACE of God
Heifer International’s solution to ending hunger and poverty is a hand up, not a hand out. Heifer works with communities and small-scale farmers, many of them women. With the right tools, training and livestock, small farms in impoverished nations are being transformed. They are key to feeding the entire world. The core principle of Heifer International is passing on the gift. For each animal given, families agree to pass on the offspring of that animal to another person in need. On average, passing on the gift lasts for at least six generations. Donations large or small can help purchase an animal, tree seedlings, chicks, on up to a heifer.
Alternative gifts, unlike the usual commercial holiday presents, are live-saving and urgently needed.
As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, here are a few ideas on ways to serve others:
- Take a slip off the Angel Tree to fill the need of a less fortunate local family
- Visit an elderly home and hand out homemade cookies
- Take a few small gifts to a shelter for women and children
- Write a letter to a family friend or some troops overseas
- Buy a small gift for a child in the hospital or bring flowers to his/her parents
- Serve a meal together as a family at a local homeless shelter
- Clean out your toy boxes and donate good quality items
- Donate food to a local food pantry or charity