A New Vision, A New Voice ~ The North Texas Conference
Alternative Gifts Fair at FUMC-Denton: November 3-5, 2017
Unique Holiday Gifts Benefit Missions
November 3, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
November 4, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
November 5, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
The FUMC-Denton congregation is comprised of 1,750 members and has held services in downtown Denton for 160 years. We strive to make a difference in our community and in the world. One way FUMC-Denton does this is by hosting its Alternative Gifts Fair (AGF) since 1986. This fair is different than most. It is not a fundraiser for the church, but an opportunity for shoppers to purchase unique and one-of-a-kind items with all proceeds going to missions and nonprofits. In the last three years, FUMC-Denton has raised more than $243,000 for missions at this event.
The idea of the fair is to offer church members and the Denton community an alternative for their holiday shopping. More than 35 vendors sell their one-of-a-kind artisan items and crafts providing an alternative for gift giving and, at the same time, raising money of which 100% benefits the nonprofit organizations represented. Fair trade goods, handmade merchandise by third-world-country artisans and merchandise donated by both First United Methodist Church members and Denton locals make the fair an event not to be missed. People from around the North Texas area come to the fair year after year to buy creative and unique items in a fun and safe environment, avoiding the rush and craziness of the malls.
We have many success stories that show us that together we can make a difference in our community and the world.
Here is a sneak peek of some of our 2017 vendors:
Paper for Water: “Every 15 seconds a child dies because they don’t have clean water,” says Isabelle Adams in an interview with the Dallas Morning News. Paper for Water gives origami ornaments in exchange for donations. These donations are used by Living Water International to drill clean water wells in developing countries. Through sales and matching grants, Paper for Water raised more than $8,000 at the 2104 AGF and built a well in Sue Ta, Liberia. More than 500 people now have to clean water access thanks to this amazing mission.
Heifer International: Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. It empowers families to turn poverty into prosperity by bringing sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a history of poverty. Heifer’s animals provide food and reliable income. “Passing on the gift” allows families to share the offspring from their animals with others. For more than 25 years Heifer has been the most popular booth at the Alternative Gifts Fair. Last year, our church bought $10,000 worth of goats for Nepal.
Batwa Baskets/The Kellerman Foundation supports the displaced Batwa pygmies. The Batwa pygmies are among the poorest people in the world. They sell their handcrafted baskets in an attempt to become self-sufficient. Your matching grant will be used to support healthcare, education, job training, home building, clean water projects and community development.
Community/Congregational Artisans: With a matching grant from Vision’s Sunday School Class, the CCA booth raised more than $6,000 for UMCOR, One Great Hour of Sharing. The AGF chose Open Doors International to be the recipient of funds. A worthy cause! Will you help?
Children’s Day Out: This is a mission of First United Methodist Church. They provide quality daycare at reasonable rates. The addition of a $300 matching grant from a local businesswoman increased their proceeds from $203 to $800 in 2014.
If you get hungry while shopping, Credo has the answer. Stop by their ‘food truck’ for a bite to eat.
Dawn of Hope International: Dawn of Hope is an a nondenominational Christian organization that raises funds to educate women in Myanmar and a seminary in Ecuador. The $500 matching grant inspired shoppers so much, they increased their proceeds from $2,000 to $5,766.
In 2015 the Denton Community Health Center was the recipient of the proceeds from the Congregational/Community Artisans booth. They had so much fun they want to return as a vendor in this year’s fair. They will be selling the artwork of their clients and Christmas cards.
The Denton Wesley Foundation is a campus outreach ministry established by the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. They serve students from the University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University and North Central Texas College. Last year they achieved their ambitious goal of starting a food bank for hungry students. A grant would help them with any new projects they will start this year.
One of our greatest success stories is Denton Christian Preschool. They were the lucky recipients of two matching grants! Two Denton businessmen offered grants that inspired shoppers, or maybe it was the smell of those great tamales that inspired the shopping! Including grants, they made $1500 in 2014.
The Denton Community Food Center is new to the Alternative Gifts Fair this year. Its mission is to provide food from a central community storehouse to needy individuals and families in emergency situations. With $10 they are able to purchase approximately $60-70 dollars worth of food. Just think how a matching grant will help them!
Empty Bowls is joining the AGF for the first time in 2015. The Empty Bowls of Denton is a ministry of Christ The Servant Lutheran Church. They typically divide their proceeds between the Our Daily Bread soup kitchen and the Denton Community Food Center. Let’s get them off to a good start by offering them a matching grant.
FUMC Youth members worked hard to earn the $500 matching grant that was offered to them anonymously from a local businessman. Their pride upon earning this money was heartwarming! Now that they have had a taste of success they are ready for a challenge again this year.
Giving Hope, Inc. had a huge increase from 2013-2014. Perhaps that was because of the two matching grants offered as a reward for selling poinsettias. Their proceeds were $1,400. They could use some more help this year.
Goodies Galore, welcome back to your second year with us! Last year’s proceeds were over $2,000 benefiting the Lenten Rebuild. Everyone reaps the benefit of this booth, as there are goodies galore to buy!
Hearts for Homes, founded in 2006, is a nonprofit Christian outreach providing hope and dignity through home rehabilitation affording low-income seniors a safe, comfortable and well-functioning home.
The Alternative Gifts Fair is happy to have Interfaith Ministries participating for their fifth time. Interfaith has a special place in the hearts of FUMC-Denton members. Interfaith helps hundreds of people who are in emergency situations and have no money. They need your help. Consider making a donation to them at the AGF.
The Latin-American Ministry in booming! Several businessmen went together last year to offer a $350 matching grant, then a FUMC shopper dropped by to contribute $500. When you add that to the proceeds from merchandise sales, they raised almost $1,700. If this mission speaks to you, please consider a matching grant for them.
Marfa Ministry had their best year ever, having made almost $4,000 for our partner church in Saratov, Russia. The $500 matching grant from a local businessman helped to inspire shoppers to buy beautiful merchandise that is the artwork of Eurasian pastors.
ODIM (Organization for Development of the Indigenous Maya) serves San Juan and San Pablo la Laguna, towns located on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, with clinics, health education, housing and community development. ODIM is an advance special of the United Methodist Church General Board of Global Ministries, with special recognition for its Healthy Mommy and Me program; FUMC-Denton has sponsored mission trips to ODIM focused on the clinics and home construction. The ODIM Guatemala booth features items handmade and purchased in San Juan la Laguna for support of ODIM.
Our Daily Bread is the master of matching grants. Two years in a row, a local business challenged them with a $1000 matching grant. Think how many people are fed with the extra money, not to mention, how that extra money motivated other shoppers to make donations.
Red Bird Mission is the oldest Methodist mission in the nation. Guided by Jesus Christ, this mission empowers individuals and justice advocates to provide spiritual, educational, health and community outreach ministries. They have never had a matching grant, so this is the year to help them. Last year they made almost $900. Are you the one to give them a boost by providing a grant?
Threads of Hope: The story of Threads of Hope is inspirational. This is the year to stimulate purchases. A FUMC volunteer has taken this project under her wings. Their proceeds are typically $3,000-$4,000 dollars. Think what a difference a grant would make for them.
Do you need some baskets to get yourself organized? Ti-a has just the basket for you. They are made in Ghana and are perfect for organization, or just use them to decorate your home.
When you purchase from Trash to Treasures, you’re not just buying a great product, you’re also helping to promote the idea that the people of the Philippines don’t need to be poor and their children don’t have to be hungry. Please help Trash to Treasure send this positive message by giving a matching grant.
Our own United Methodist Women are constantly hard at work to make money for missions. They have not been the recipient of a matching grant so maybe this is the year for them. Last year’s proceeds were $1,990. Let’s help put them over the $2,000 mark with a matching grant.
XSProject is a mission whose proceeds go to help women and families in Indonesia. Their products are made from trash. It is literally from trash to treasure. Since they never know what trash they will get, every item is one-of-a-kind. This is their first year to participate. Won’t you help?