Alternative Market raises $9,000-plus

Three children, Mya, Logan and Weston Jane (from left), chose to help the orangutan, the most endangered primates on Earth. Wearing orangutan T-shirts, the three siblings spoke to visitors about how their money could protect rain forests, which is the best defense from the effects of a rapidly changing climate.<p>The sixth annual Alter­native Gifts International raised more than $9,000 Saturday at the Marion Community Center for charitable causes, organizers said.

“This amount doesn’t include the food court of fair trade gifts,” said Jackie Volbrecht, one of the volunteers.

Now in its 30th year as a nonprofit organization has raised more than $29 million with the help of donors, said Margaret Pickering, coordinator.

“Together they’ve helped victims of war and natural disasters get support, brought medicine to the sick, freed thousands of women and children from sexual slavery and more,” Pickering said.

Each of the 30 projects chosen, she said, are intended to support hunger relief, education, general equality, health and well-being, environmental sustainability and global partnership.

In addition, Trades of Hope is an organization empowering women from around the world to get out of poverty through a sustainable business.

Jaime Driggers of Hillsboro offered many of these items for sale, such as jewelry, scarves and purses.

Fair Trade Coffee also had a booth.

“The coffee sold for donations supports families who grow, roast and package their own coffee,” she said.

The money raised goes back to the land, and the people who farmed it, Pickering added.

For more information about the organization, visit or call 800-842-2243.

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