What is an Alternative Gift Market?
A different kind of shopping experience!
Gifts are purchased in honor of family, friends, colleagues, and others in a market setting which provides an alternative to the traditional, “commercial” holiday shopping experience.
Instead of buying candy for Aunt Sally, a shopper at this market might sponsor food for a pantry in the U.S. or purchase medicines for families in a developing country. Then Aunt Sally receives an attractive card telling her about this unique gift given in her honor. You also may choose to give her a hand-made ornament to represent the gift; ornaments are a unique feature of the Wichita Alternative Gift Market, made by volunteers.
This four-minute interview by Mark Davidson of Wichita’s KSN with 2016 market co-chair Lorrie Beck provides an overview:
Why Alternative Giving?
- Because so many of the world’s critical needs are going unmet. We can help meet them!
- Because of our need and capacity to give. These gifts give both ways!
- Because Uncle Mike doesn’t need –or want– another tie. He wants to make a difference, too!
Why Alternative Gift Markets?
- Because they are a celebration of abundant life for all the world’s people.
- Because they are an appropriate nonprofit response to consumerism.
- Because they have raised millions of dollars for the world’s needs, nourishing peace in our global neighborhood.
This type of market is known as a supermarket for the poor and the planet, and is truly an international venue for fair trade. Unlike all other capitalist markets in the world, it does not exist to make a profit, but rather it gives away three assets. It gives joy to the donor (or shopper), global awareness and education to the recipient of a gift card, and great benefit to people living in poverty. The shoppers in this market are First World people of every age who enjoy ever advantage of empowerment – They are the “haves” in a world of “have-nots.” Their compassion is generously shared when they purchase simple gifts that change the world at an Alternative Gift Market.
Most of the gifts at such a market are available through the Alternative Gifts International annual catalog. The gifts offered in the “Gifts Inspiring Change” catalog are unique. They are gifts of peace and justice, gifts that are sustainable and that build security. These alternative gifts multiply and grow, sometimes exponentially, and offer hope and new life to people facing grave crises and need. They challenge the trivia of our modern culture. These are authentic gifts that people really use and cherish. They always fit and are never thrown away.