Alternative Gift Market

THESE ARE THE CURRENT PARTICIPATING AGM ORGANIZATIONS:

Angel Flight East –  http://angelflighteast.org  (AFE) is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the community by facilitating free air transportation for children and adults with medical conditions who need to get to treatment far from home.

Bethany Children’s Home – http://www.bethanyhome.org/ The mission of Bethany Children’s Home is to provide a safe place of nurture, protection, and supportive care to aid our residents in their self-understanding, growth, and healing toward a brighter, healthier future. 1863 Bethany Rd Womelsdorf, PA 19567. (610) 589-4501

Doctors Without Borders http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/ We are Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). We help people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from health care.

Good Samaritan Fund/Emergency Fund – These are special funds used at the discretion of our St. John’s pastors to help people in our Lansdale area community who need emergency financial help with bills and payments, etc.  

Hedwig House –  https://www.hedwighouse.org/ Provides support, job training, and long-term housing to individuals with mental illness.  The goal of Hedwig House is to provide support and assistance to individuals with mental illness in pursuit of independence and personal fulfillment.

Hispanic Federation/UNIDOS    https://hispanicfederation.org/Hispanic Federation (HF) is the nation’s premier Latino nonprofit membership organization. Founded in 1990, HF seeks to support Hispanic families and strengthen Latino institutions through work in the areas of education, health, immigration, civic engagement, economic empowerment, & the environment.  

Kitty Cottage –http://www.kittycottage.org/  A loving adoption center and shelter for homeless cats, Nonprofit, No-kill, & Cage-free.  317 W. Johnson Highway, East Norriton, Pa. 610-731-0101.  Volunteers needed! Hours: Monday & Tuesday: Closed  Wednesday – Friday: 11:00 AM-5:00 PM  Saturday & Sunday: 11:00 AM-3:00 PM.

Laurel House –  http://https://laurel-house.org/ The mission of Laurel House is to: Advocate for and empower those impacted by domestic violence by providing crisis intervention, safe haven, supportive programs and resources & Advance social change through preventative education and through community training and collaboration to foster a coordinated response to domestic abuse.  Laurel House is a comprehensive domestic violence agency serving individuals, families and communities throughout Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. 

Logan’s Heroes –  http://http://lharinc.org/ Our mission is to rescue homeless, neglected and abused animals and place them into life-long homes while placing an emphasis on the human-animal relationship and its ability to help heal those that need it most. We have created programs and partnered with other organizations to promote this benefit and place an emphasis on supporting Veterans.

Manna On Main Street – https://mannaonmain.org/ Manna on Main Street is committed to ending hunger in the North Penn region by providing food, fulfilling social service and education needs, and conducting community outreach. Through a food pantry and soup kitchen, emergency financial aid, counseling and referrals, and education opportunities, Manna serves those in need with the hope “that everyone might be fed.” 606 E. Main Street, Lansdale. (215) 855-5454

PA Hero Walk – http://www.paherowalk.com/  A fundraising walk held each May in Lansdale (and other Pa. locations) to focus on Pennsylvania veterans from all branches and from all eras –  money raised in Pa. to help Pa. veterans. The PA Hero Walk has raised over $1.8 Million to date for our Pa. veterans.

Teaching Tolerance –  http://www.tolerance.org/  Provides educational materials—from articles that make you think to presentations you can share. These resources are designed to help teachers improve their practice and turn K-12 schools into strong communities that welcome diversity, giving all students an opportunity to learn.

The Arc – https://www.thearc.org/  The Arc Alliance Advocacy Services – Supports Coordination Organization (SCO). For persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Local chapter: 3075 Ridge Pike, Eagleville, Pa. 610-265-4700

The Fred Rogers Company –http://www.fredrogers.org/ We honor Fred by carrying on his work. We’re proud to be building on Fred’s legacy in innovative ways through a wide variety of media, and engaging new generations of children and families with his timeless wisdom. 

The Malala Fund – https://www.malala.org/  Inspired by co-founders Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala Fund’s goal is to enable girls to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities. We work with partners all over the world helping to empower girls and amplify their voices; we invest in local education leaders and programmes; and we advocate for more resources for education and safe schools for every child.  

The Seeing Eye  http://www.seeingeye.org/  The Seeing Eye’s mission is to enhance the independence, dignity and self-confidence of people who are blind, through the use of specially trained Seeing Eye® dogs. In pursuit of this mission, The Seeing Eye breeds and raises puppies to become Seeing Eye dogs, trains Seeing Eye dogs to guide blind people, instructs blind people in the proper use, handling, and care of the dogs and conducts and supports research on canine health and development.  

UrbanPromise  www.urbanpromiseusa.org  The mission at UrbanPromise is to equip Camden’s children and young adults with the skills necessary for academic achievement, life management, spiritual growth, and Christian leadership. They strive to fulfill this mission through after-school programs, summer camps, two schools, experiential learning, job training, and a host of other programs that challenge youth to develop and realize their potential.  PO Box 1479, Camden, NJ 08105 (856) 661-1700

Wissahickon Watershed Association – http://www.wvwa.org// A non-profit land trust founded in 1957 to protect the quality and beauty of the Wissahickon Creek & Watershed. 12 Morris Rd, Ambler, PA 19002 (215) 646-8866

 HISTORY AND INFORMATION ABOUT OUR ALTERNATIVE GIFT MARKET

History – Our Alternative Gift Market began in 2004 when member Andrea Tanner brought the idea from her home UCC church in New Jersey. It was immediately embraced by the people of St. John’s and has grown into one of our most popular annual traditions to start the holiday season just before Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas.  You may hear or see our name abbreviated as the “AGM“. 

How Does It Work – The format is simple – a one-stop ‘shopping mall’ filling the Assembly hall with popular ‘charity’ organizations. You receive a shopping list and a bag (or ‘go green’ and bring your own shopping bag!), and ‘shop’ from one booth to the next, pledging donations of varying amounts to buy gifts of a service of that group for each family member, friend, business associate, teacher, neighbor, etc. on your list who will appreciate a donation in their name to a favorite charity rather than more “stuff”! For each donation you receive a gift card and small token gift for the recipient.

When you are finished shopping you fill out the shopping list, marking each donation, quantity and total cost, and take it to the cashiers. (You may also make a voluntary contribution to help defray costs for printing, mailing, etc.) Present this with cash or a personal check (sorry, NO credit cards as this is a one day only event) and you’re ready to go with your shopping done!

Thanks also for helping Alex’s Lemonade Stand fight childhood cancer for those who bought lemonade & made a donation during the Alternative Gift Market at our Alex’s Lemonade stand!  https://www.alexslemonade.org/  

A reminder we accept cash or checks only, no credit cards.  100% of the funds you donate go directly to the charities you choose!  (You may make an extra donation to help defray our mailing & printing costs but that is voluntary.)

Some people are really surprised to learn St. John’s biggest fundraising event of the year raises NO money for St. John’s!  It’s true – the Alternative Gift Market each November is a St. John’s MISSION PROJECT to raise funds for worthy organizations that provide needed services in our community, the region, the country, or the world!

The Alternative Gift Market begins at 11:30 am so you can come downstairs and shop right after our 10:15 am service. Hoagies and beverages are available for a donation, including ‘Alex’s Lemonade Stand‘, raising money for that organization.

Want to help?  The Alternative Gift Market Committee is happy to welcome new members! The committee meets regularly throughout the year to prepare for the one day event in November!  Contact the church office or talk with one of our pastors or a member of the committee to get connected!  

Most Recent – Our 15th annual Alternative Gift Market took place in St. John’s Assembly Hall on Sunday, November 18, 2018. We raised $8,853 for the 18 charity organizations that we support.  Including the hoagie sale & Alex’s Lemonade, over $9,000 was raised – thank you for your support & watch for news about the 2019 AGM! The top 5: Doctors Without Borders $1,235; UNIDOS/Hispanic Federation $1,075; Manna on Main Street $600; Kitty Cottage $580; Urban Promise $530!  Click to see our 2018 list in pdf format: AGM Shopping List 2018

Questions & Answers About The St. John’s UCC Alternative Gift Market

Question: What is the St. John’s UCC Alternative Gift Market?

Answer: An opportunity to purchase holiday gifts in honor of a loved one. These gifts are meaningful, non-material and support nonprofit organizations in our community and around the world. At the market, you shop for gifts as you would in a store … except these gifts go to local, national and international humanitarian projects. These gifts focus on those …in need, saving lives, and preserving our planet. Representatives from each charity (or church volunteers) staff tables you can browse for information regarding the mission and projects of each organization. This information can help you choose the right gift donation for each relative, friend, and loved one. 100% of every donation goes directly to the organization.

Question: What would I buy at the Alternative Gift Market?

Answer: In purchasing a gift, you are donating to a charity in honor of a loved one. For example: a gift of $20 might buy a vet clinic visit for a cat at the local Kitty Cottage Cat Adoption Center, or $5 may buy 1/3 flock of chicks for a Heifer Project International site.  Alternative gifts are great options for the “person who has everything”! In addition to your family, alternative gifts are appropriate for co-workers, neighbors, children’s teachers, or hostess gifts.

Question: How much do gifts cost?

Answer: Prices range from about $5 to $30 per gift

Question: What can I do to help ensure a successful Alternative Gift Market?

Answer: Attend the gift market and shop for all the important people in your life. Help us spread the word; the Alternative Gift Market is open to the public! Invite your extended family, friends, neighbors & all!