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Simple Gifts

On December 9, 2008, the Alternative Giving Christmas Market set up in Baird Lounge. Various clubs and organizations on campus and in the community helped to make the opportunity for students to make a difference in their community and in the world. Students were able to donate to non-profit organizations of their choice in the name of a loved one.

The Alternative Market creates the opportunity to give to local, state, national, and international non-profit organizations for the betterment of the community. One can make a donation in the name of a special someone and present the certificate of donation as a gift in the place of a material item. Every donation goes to an individual who is in need. The gifts contribute to health care, housing, heat, clothing, environmental programs, food, emergency medical care, and so much more.

As Tara Shumate walked through the market, the green shopping form in hand, volunteers from each organization greeted her. The volunteers explained the organization’s goals and how they will use the money Tara will donate. There are options throughout the market, to give the opportunity to choose subjects in which one is interested. Tara was in search of a tangible gift, which was also available from the Peace Craft booth as well as the Women’s Industrial.

“The goal of the Alternative Market is to make people think about what kind of world they want, and donate to organizations that will make the change,” says Gina Chamberlain, a volunteer for the event and member of the community. Student Lilly Belanger added, “The Market presents an alternative to the materialism of Christmas. It focuses on the giving aspect of the holiday, which is what Christmas is about in the first place. I am really glad the event happened.”

These gifts are important as they provide the funds needed for organizations to continue their mission, help others in need, and they give the donor pleasure in knowing their gifts will be helping someone during the holiday season.

The alternative Market was made possible by volunteers from Berea Faith Community Outreach, and campus clubs and organizations such as Campus Christian Center, CELTS, Berea College Music Department, and the Sociology Department. Other organizations involved include the Berea Ministerial Association, People Who Care, and Oxfam Berea.

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