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Dates set for annual Alternative Gift Fair

East Kish Presbyterian schedules event for Dec 7, 8

Submitted photo
Event organizer Cassie Campbell stands with Juniata Henry and Cathy Rhymer, of Habitat for Humanity Mifflin County during the 2017 Alternative Gift Fair. Habitat for Humanity won an award for the Best Agency Display

REEDSVILLE — Give the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season.

East Kish Presbyterian Church has scheduled its annual Alternative Gift Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 7 and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 8.

The event gives attendees the opportunity to support 14 local and intentional charities by giving donations in a recipient’s name, said Cassie Campbell, one of the event’s organizers.

“The (gifted) sweater ends up at the thrift store next year, but the donation to Smile Train will give someone with a cleft palate a life-changing operation. That is really quite a feat,” Campbell said.

Now in its 11th year, the Alternative Gift Fair has raised more than $70,500 for local and international nonprofits.

“I think people like to be very thoughtful in gifts. This not a solid object you can touch, but…these nonprofits in our community and internationally only work if people are willing to make it happen,” she said. “It blows me away how generous people are. They understand these nonprofits are the backbone of our community.”

This year, the event has been extended to two days to include a sale by Ten Thousand Villages, a nonprofit fair trade organization that markets handcrafted products made by disadvantaged artisans from more than 35 countries.

“I think they’re an exciting addition. I think their things are beautiful. They make lovely gifts for people,” said Campbell. “As a former art teacher, I really like that they’re handmade.”

Campbell explained that donations to many charities go back into the local community.

“The historical society keeps our history growing and keeps it in the public’s eye, but there is a financial responsibility. If we drop the ball, the next generations will have lost out,” she said. Shelter Services is “an ongoing need in our community. There are people at the toughest time in their life and they need help. It’s nice that we can support them.”

Campbell said she is humbled that the community continues to support the Fair.

“We’re excited that it’s our 11th year and the community is still supporting this idea of giving.”

Those present at the event will be able to vote on their favorite charity. The winning charity will receive $250.

Individuals unable to attend the event may visit www.eastkish.org to print and mail forms with their donations. Those who mail forms by Dec. 16 will receive cards that can be distributed to recipients.

A light lunch and baked goods will be available for purchase both days.

Organizations participating in this year’s event include:

¯Lumina Center — www.luminacenter.org

¯AARF PA –www.aarfpa.com

¯Habitat for Humanity of Mifflin County — www.mifflinhabitat.org

¯Krislund Camp Scholarship Fund: www.krislund.org/support-1/

¯Santa’s Bookbag: Works to promote literacy by providing needy children with

one new and several used books in coordination with the Community Christmas Project.

¯Rescue Our Furry Friends: www.roffrescue.wordpress.com/

¯Milroy-Reedsville Meals on Wheels — Serve two meals a week, on Tuesday and Thursday to the elderly and those unable to cook for themselves in the Reedsville and Milroy areas.

¯Mifflin Co. Historical Society — www.mifflincountyhistory.org

¯Shelter Service — Provides temporary housing and support to the homeless in the Mifflin Co. area.

¯Friends of Mifflin Co. Library — www.mifflincountylibrary.org/friends

¯Smile Train — www.smiletrain.org

¯Reedsville Volunteer Fire Co. — www.reedsvillevfd.com

¯Pets Come First — www.petscomefirst.net

¯Heifer International — www.heifer.org

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