Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How to Plan an Alternative Market

So many churches at this time of year hold craft fairs, but the church we have joined up here does something a little differently. Gina, the minister's wife, started a tradition of an Alternative Market. Vendors are invited to sell their wares as long as they are selling products that give 100% of their profit to support a non-profit. This year there were people selling jewelery for NEMI, items for the Senior Center, and candles for some organization I did not catch. There were booths with information on gifts that could be purchased from SHIN, Amnesty International, BAMS, our church's Carilon Fund, Church World Services, Heifer International, and probably a few that I didn't notice. Hopefully, next year we'll be able to recruit even more. I ran a booth that introduced people to KIVA loans which make a great Christmas gift especially for teenagers.

We set up in our Fellowship Hall area. Each vendor had a table which they could decorate as they pleased. Advertising was done in advance and signs were put out on the actual day. Gina put out some coffee, tea, and hot cocoa and put together a table where people could make ornaments if they liked. It was all fairly low key. This was the first year that I participated. DD did our booth last year as I was working. This year, she was busy and so I did it. Next year hopefully we can booth do it as it is a very worthwhile idea. The gifts you buy at an Alternative Marketplace give not just to the recipient of the gift but also to someone else in need. What a great way to remember the reason for the season.

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