“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in … I was sick and you looked after me… Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25: 35-36, 40
With this Scripture in mind, we welcome you to the United Methodist Church of Chugiak Alternative Gift Market for 2015. For those of you who are new to our church or need a brief refresher, the AGM is an opportunity to get an early start on your Christmas shopping and simultaneously support various life-giving projects from around the world, including our own neighborhoods. You will be able to purchase food for the hungry, care for the sick, shelter for the homeless, renewal for our endangered planet, and much more – truly meaningful alternatives to the usual holiday gifts – in honor of your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and children’s teachers.
If you are unable to attend the market on December 6th, you can mail your order into the church office or order online at www.alternativegifts.org. Mark your calendars for December 6th.
Here’s how to do it:
- Review the catalog to familiarize yourself with the missions that will be represented at the market. While looking through this catalog take time to pray for a particular mission that touches your heart or pray for them all. We have a limited number of catalogs, so please return it to the table after you have had a chance to look through it.
- Come to the market in the Community Center between 9:00 and 1:00 on Sunday, December 6th and talk to the representatives of the missions that you are interested in.
- Mark the items you want to support on your shopping list. Gift cards and inserts that describe the wonderful project(s) you have supported in your loved one’s honor will also be available for you to send to them.
- Proceed to the cashier to pay for your gifts and you have completed your shopping! Ninety percent of the money raised for AGI’s projects goes directly to support relief and development around the world. All donations are tax-deductible.
Alternative Gifts International (AGI) is a non-profit organization that inspires support for humanitarian and environmental causes.
Alternative Gifts International began in 1980 at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, in California. Harriet Prichard wanted to model a new, noncommercial way to give Christmas gifts for the church’s children. She organized a market in which children and many adults sold relief, self-development goods, and animals for people in need as alternative gifts The project was so motivating that other churches soon began to conduct alternative markets. By 2004 there were 325 markets held in 43 U.S. states, in England, Holland, Japan, and Korea. In the course of 25 seasons, over $26 million has been raised.
Each year AGI develops a catalog listing needs of hungry, sick, or homeless people and our endangered planet. Ninety percent of the monies received by AGI for the alternative gifts will be granted to cooperating agencies who guarantee that the funds will be used only as designated. AGI retains ten percent for its administrative costs.
As an added feature to our market, representative from several local charities will also be on hand. Plan on stopping by the Supreme Bean while shopping at the market to support our youth missions.
Contact Sandra Woods or Stacy Flagg to sponsor a table that will highlight one of the 30 projects in this year’s catalog.
We look forward to seeing you and your friends at this year’s market.