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, Presbyterian Mission Agency, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and Feed My Starving Children. Giving alternative gifts simplifies Christmas with gifts that give hope in our community and throughout the world.
HOW DOES IT WORK? Beginning November 25th and running through December 23rd, information will be available in the narthex highlighting the work of the four 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 LOVE 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 HOPE of God
Do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you ~ Isaiah 41:10.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance enables immediate response to national and international disasters and strengthens ongoing work such as training and development, refugee ministry, and response to disasters that do not receive media attention. They focus on the long term recovery of disaster impacted communities as well as provide training and disaster preparedness for presbyteries and synods.
The PEACE of God
The Presbyterian Mission Agency assists millions around the world who are facing daily struggles to access food, clean drinking water and shelter. The purchase and distribution of animals, the building of wells to provide life-giving clean water to entire communities, and ministries to youth and young adults are among ways your gift will be filling a need and making an impact here in the United States and around the globe. The Presbyterian Mission Agency is committed to being good stewards of your gift, and all God had given us, to share with God’s people.
The JOY of God
Feed My Starving Children is a Christian non-profit organization that coordinates the packaging and distribution of food to people in developing nations. Founded in 1987, it has reached out to more than 70 countries. For the last several years, members of our church have volunteered for this event when it comes to Fond du lac. FMSC meals are hand-packed by volunteers and sent to an incredible network of partner organizations who distribute them to those in need. More than 1.2 million volunteers packed more than 333 million FMSC meals in 2017. More than 90 percent of total donations go directly to feed under-nourished kids.
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