Nov. 16-17: Alternative Gift Market

The sale of these colorful scarves and bags from Cambodia raises funds for the work of The Sharing Foundation.

Saturday, November 16th from 10 – 3
Sunday, November 17th from 11 – 3
It’s time for the annual Upper Cape Cod Alternative Gift Market! The gift market provides the entire Upper Cape community with the opportunity to enjoy one stop shopping for “alternative gifts” – donations to local and international charities made in honor of family members and friends as well as a wide range of appealing fair trade items such as scarves and bags and organic coffees and teas.

The gift market is a community fair where you can purchase non-traditional gifts to give to family and friends. Rather than buy one more scarf for your sister, honor her instead by giving in her name a life-sustaining gift that will help alleviate poverty and disease, renew our planet’s environment, or promote education, sustainable development and peace. For some individuals and families, shopping at the AGM has become a traditional part of their annual giving, whether the gifts they purchase are in honor of specific people or are considered “gifts to their neighbors at home and around the world”.

2013 AGM Flyer: AGM 2013 Flyer.pdf

The Alternative Gift Market Is a Joint Community Effort

The Alternative Gift market is organized each year by a Steering Committee with representatives from the six sponsoring Falmouth congregations: the Falmouth Jewish Congregation, John Wesley United Methodist Church, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, First Congregational Church, Church of the Messiah, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Falmouth (UUFF).

This year’s market begins Saturday, November 16, 10:00AM to 3:00PM, and continues on Sunday, November 17, 11:00AM to 3:00PM. The Market is held in St. Barnabas’ Parish Hall, 91 Main Street in Falmouth.

Shoppers can count on finding Heifer International at the AGM.

Shoppers can count on finding Heifer International at the AGM.

The Alternative Gift Market raises money for local and global charities. Different charitable organizations are represented at the gift market from year to year but a few organizations are included every year, including the food pantries of Falmouth, Bourne, Sandwich and Mashpee as well as the Cape Cod Center for Women and Heifer International. The steering committee works with Alternative Gifts International to identify worthwhile projects around the world.

The shopper who buys an alternative gift receives an insert describing the project receiving the donation. The insert is sent to the recipient in whose name the donation was made. In addition, visitors to the market can shop at the Global Bazaar which includes fair trade handcrafts from the Sharing Foundation and A Thread of Hope Guatemala, and food items from Equal Exchange.

As the number of sponsoring organizations and the popularity of the market have grown, so too have the funds raised by the event increased. In its first year, the Alternative Gift Market produced $19,385 in charitable gifts and fair trade sales. In 2011, the combined total was $47,140. Total funds raised by the market for the last five years are $185,954.

How the AGM Works

Who chooses the charities that are represented at the market?

The AGM Steering Committee with members from the six sponsoring congregations choose the charities. Suggestions from the community are welcome.

Who runs the market?

The market is run by volunteers from the six sponsoring congregations and representatives of the local charities.

What is the Global Marketplace?

The gift market also provides the opportunity to purchase fair trade items at the Global Bazaar, which features fair trade merchandise from artisans and farmers from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Handcrafted items such as jewelry, baskets, bags, scarves and other items support women and men around the world, working cooperatively to make a living for their families. The Sharing Foundation, is returning for its 7th year with colorful items from Cambodia. New to the market this year is A Thread of Hope Guatemala with a wide variety of handcrafted merchandise from Guatemala. Equal Exchange will be returning with their high quality, fair trade organic coffees, teas and chocolates, along with their popular, complimentary coffee tastings.

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