Alternative Gift Market is growing

For the person who has everything or is difficult to buy for, organizers of Marion?s Alternative Gift Market open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, might have the perfect solution.

Jackie Volbrecht, event coordinator, said there are a lot of changes planned at this year?s market starting out with location.

?The whole idea behind the Alternative Gift Market,? she said, ?is for shoppers and those adopting charities to have a good time.

?That is how (the market) grew, and when we couldn?t accommodate everyone at the Marion Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall anymore, we moved it to the Marion Community Center.?

Now in its third year, Volbrecht said she is also happy that Hillsboro will have a presence at the event.

In addition to the 30 international humanitarian projects shoppers can choose from, several local charities are available.

Those groups include Big Brother/Big Sisters of Marion County, FACT Inc., also known as Families and Communities Together, Circles of Marion County, Main Street Ministries and PEO, a group that funds local scholarships for high school girls.

Two other groups, Cafe Justo is a fair trade coffee that lists the name of the grower and the roasting date on the bag and Waterfull Water.

According to Volbrecht, Joseph Uhlman of Sedgwick came up with Waterfull Water, which is a method to hand dig water wells so each bottle you drink means water wells will be dug in Uganda and Haiti.

Lunch will be provided by Sharon?s Rollin? Kitchen.

?She will be serving homemade cinnamon rolls for our morning shoppers,? Volbrecht said, ?and chili or barbecued pork for lunch. Donate your change and coffee tips to benefit the Marion County Food Bank.?

?Alternative gifts do exactly what traditional gifts do,? Volbrecht said. ?They express love and affection, celebrate occasions and show you care.?

In addition to donating to worthy causes, each charitable project provides ornaments and a card denoting where the donation will be used, she said.

?We hope people will come and check us out,? Volbrecht said.

Global charities

The market is sponsored by Marion Presbyterian Church, but includes participation of many churches, groups and individuals, she said.

The 30 charitable projects include:

? Stability for farming families in Ethiopia. Donations will help subsistence farmers in one of the most famished areas in the world.

? Rabbits, bees and trees will help Haiti as it still recovers from the 2010 earthquake when Hurricane Sandy delivered another wave of destruction.

? Help the hungry and homeless in the U.S. with groceries for families or individuals.

? Hope for India?s street kids. Delhi?s slums are home to at least 100,000 street children, many of them orphaned or abandoned.

? Safe homes for orphans south of the U.S./Mexican border. With the fear of drug-cartel violence, support for orphanages caring for abandoned and abused children has been significantly reduced.

? Scholarships for students in Haiti. Donations will help with education, which is secondary to feeding and housing a family.

n Empower students for the future in Kenya. With over 75 percent of Kenyan children dropping out of school because they can?t afford to attend, donations will make it possible for them to receive an education.

? Desks and chairs for rural students in China?s Guizhou Provine, which is a mountainous region with many rural schools lacking resources.

? Helping rebuild their future in Zimbabwe. Donations will help employ people and rebuild homes that currently are makeshift shelters without running water, electricity or infrastructure for sewage disposal.

? Teaching untouchables a trade in India. Girls born into the Dalit caste have strikes against them?rural isolation, societal discrimination and lack of educational opportunities.

? Rescue girls from sex trafficking worldwide. Donations will help the nearly two million children exploited in the commercial sex industry.

? Empowering women and girls in Chiapas, Mexico, one of the poorest states with girls rarely having a chance to pursue education past the fifth grade.

? Harvesting water for schools in India. Donations will go toward water filters and storing rain water.

??Protection from abuse and slavery in Haiti with over 225,000 children, primarily girls, living in slavery.

? ?Hugging Grannies? for orphans in China with donations going to have ?hugging grannies? go to orphanages daily to hug, hold and cuddle little children.

? Saving lives of moms and babies in Haiti. Donations go to provide critical healthcare in rural communities.

? Backpacks full of healthcare in Burma with donations will equip medics delivering emergency trauma care.

? Saving lives with bicycles in Namibia, Zambia and Kenya. Over 75 percent of people affected by HIV/AIDS live too far from clinics and pharmacies to walk. Bicycles will put vital care in reach.

? Warmth and comfort for the sick in North Korea. Since 1990, famine and disease have killed more than one million North Koreans. Donations will provide adequate bedding.

? Wheelchairs for the disabled worldwide. Donations will help disabled people become mobile.

? Where needed most allocates donations to Project 21 raising the level of support for lesser-funded projects.

? AGI?Mission helps build a community of volunteers.

? Help the blind see in Tibet by providing eye care, glasses, surgery and post-operative care.

? Clean water for rural homes in Bolivia installs water systems.

? Cooking with ?rocket stoves? in Gambia and Tanzania by providing fuel for cooking.

? Family vegetable gardens worldwide to help rural communities depending on agriculture for their survival.

? Growing stronger together in rural Nepal by planting trees.

? Fresh water wells for villages in South Sudan to provide clean water.

? Home sweet home in Haiti by providing more permanent housing following the 2010 earthquake and 2012 hurricane.

? Micro-loans changing lives by helping people in poverty with ideas to earn money.

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