HG: SustainAbility Column November 08, 2008

Alternative Christmas Fair

We all have friends and loved ones who just don’t need any more stuff. Creative donations are the
answer.

Grand Valley Peace & Justice is hosting its annual Alternative Christmas Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Parish Hall of Saint Joseph’s Church at the corner of Third Street and White Avenue.

The fair offers one-stop shopping for a multitude of donation options. Karen Sjoberg, director of the organization, said 15 local agencies will be represented as well as 39 “fascinating” international projects focusing on sustainability.

In many areas of the world, this means creating conditions so people are able to continue living on their land. One example is a tree-planting project in Haiti in the wake of massive deforestation, which will allow people to return to living off the land.

These projects are under the umbrella of Alternative Gifts International and can be found at http://www.altgifts.org.

Students around the Grand Valley use the projects as learning tools and share their knowledge with shoppers. Last year, donations for local and international projects totaled $31,000.

Two craft booths will feature “unique and beautiful” fair-trade gifts from around the globe.

The Alternative Christmas Fair is not set up to take credit cards, so be sure to bring cash or a checkbook.

If you can’t make it to the fair, call Sjoberg at 243-0136 and she’ll get you squared away by phone and mail. Final paperwork is transmitted on Dec. 15.

— Adele Israel


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