Alternative Christmas Marketplace
December 2nd, 9th, and 16th
Please join us in Alternative Gift Giving
What is an Alternative Christmas Marketplace?
Each year during the Christmas Season, we offer the congregation a chance to do some “alternative” shopping for those on your Christmas List. The reason we call it alternative is the gift you are purchasing won’t be something the receiver will make use of himself or herself, but instead the real gift to your friend or loved one will be the knowledge that someone, somewhere in the world is being blessed in their honor- and isn’t that a special gift to give! This December 2nd, 9th, and 16th the marketplace will be available to you. There will be a display and other information available. After the Worship Service, you will be able to “shop” using the catalog and the shopping list. Present your shopping list to the friendly volunteers in the library, along with your payment, and you will receive your card(s) that explain the gift(s) you have purchased to present to your friend or loved one. If you are short on time, turn in your order form and payment before church and your cards will be ready for pick up right after the service. Use this catalog to learn more about the organizations and gift ideas Witness in Action has chosen for this year’s Alternative Marketplace. (You can also look at the websites for these organizations to learn more about what they do.) Mark your shopping list and then come shopping one Sunday in December! It’s easy, fun and it will have a lasting impression on so many!
Doctors Without Borders is a Nobel Prize-winning relief organization which relies on public support in order to ensure the freedom to provide humanitarian assistance whenever and wherever it is needed. One of its major commitments is to address malnutrition, which kills five million children a year – one child every six seconds. In its quest to find a "magic bullet" to conquer the scourge of malnutrition. Doctors Without Borders has discovered a ready-to-eat, vitamin enriched food source called "Plumpy’nut." This life-saving food comes in a foil wrapper and is easily distributed. According to Dr. Milton Tectonidis, the chief nutritionist for Doctors without Borders, "In three weeks, we can cure a kid who looked like he’s half dead. We can cure them just like an antibiotic. It's just, boom! It's a spectacular response." For just $15, a supply of Plumpy’nut will treat a malnourished child. For more information talk with Michael Fuller or check out the website at www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate.
Church World Service is people reaching out to neighbors in need near and far...not with a handout, but a hand up. So, if you‘re looking to help build a better world....a world where there’s enough for all...you’ve come to the right place! CWS is working with partners in the US and around the world to build interfaith and intercultural coalitions to eradicate hunger and poverty and promote peace and justice. For example, many SPCers have walked or donated to Crop Walk, which is sponsored by CWS. Chicks are an eggcellent gift choice. Who knew something so tiny could have such a huge impact on a family’s health and food security? In about 22 weeks, baby chicks grow into egg producing chickens, supplying a great source of protein and income....2 chicks for $1.00. CWS blankets are the equivalent of a comforting hug. Designed especially for post-disaster use, they provide warmth, privacy, and a soft place to rest. They also end up serving as a source of shelter or a way to move a few belongings. Your gift of $5 provides a blanket that’s ready and waiting for one in need. Why not warm up a child who has been traumatized....or a family or two?? Mosquito nets and other preventions have cut the global malaria rate by 25% since 2000. But, with half the world’s population still at risk for contracting the mosquito-borne illness, we still have work to do. Help someone out with a safety net that really saves lives with your gift of a mosquito net for $10. For further info contact Rob Whitson or check out their website: www.churchworldservice.org
Smile Train is focused on solving a single problem: cleft lip and palate. This a major problem in developing countries, where millions of children suffer with un-repaired clefts. Most cannot eat or speak properly and are not allowed to attend school or hold a job. They face very difficult lives filled with shame and isolation, pain and heartache. The good news is every single child with a cleft can be helped with surgery that costs as little as $250.00 and takes as little as 45 minutes. The Smile Train mission is to provide free cleft surgery for millions of poor children in developing countries and to provide free cleft-related training for doctors and medical professionals. You can support Smile Train with donations in the amounts of either $10 or $25 toward a surgery, or you can purchase a full surgery for $250. Michael Fuller can show you “before and after” pictures of the amazing improvements these surgeries can make in the lives of these children ... or you can see more at http://www.smiletrain.org/
In recent years, the Guide Dog Foundation has come to recognize that as our nation’s Veterans age, and as our wounded soldiers return home from the war on terrorism, there would be a greater need for guide dogs and other specialized service animals. The VetDogs program was created so that America’s veterans would have their own K-9 corps and the chance to live with dignity and self-reliance once again. In addition to guide dogs, VetDogs will train and supply service dogs for veterans who have disabilities other than visual impairment. You can expand the work of America’s VetDogs by purchasing the following gift items: $5 will provide a bag of puppy training treats...something needed to get these pups trained for their special work. You can purchase a puppy training vest for one of the VetDogs for $20. You might imagine that a kennel of puppies requires a lot of veterinary expenses....for $25, you can purchase shots and veterinary care for these puppies as they start their training to be a VetDog. For more information, contact Rob Whitson or the website: www.vetdogs.org
the Nations to send mission teams to the Dominican Republic. Both visits served as an eye opening experience for all of the team members. Simply put, they had never witnessed such poverty. After the 2008 mission trip, Southminster decided to “adopt” one of the villages which had been visited – Altagracia, which has a population of 850, and 600 of them are children. The average family size is five. The average income is
$600 a year - ten times less than the national average. Presently, our church is helping to fund a teacher who works at the preschool. In addition, funding has been provided to purchase classroom equipment for the school, bibles, percussion instruments, and a piano keyboard for the church located in Altagracia, and hygiene education and latrine building materials. This year, a contribution of $10 provides school supplies for one child. . A contribution of $12 purchases a pair of children's shoes. For more information talk with Michael Fuller or check out the COTN website at www.cotni.org.
Shared Housing Services (SHS) has been serving Pierce and South King County low income adults for twenty one years. Their unique approach connects low income individuals and small families seeking safe, affordable housing with elderly and/or disabled homeowners who have space in their home and are seeking companionship or extra income. Last year, they were able to place over 1,000 people in homes, over 60% of whom were homeless until assisted by its Homesharing Program. In 2013, SHS will start a new program housing unaccompanied youth ages 16-24yrs. It builds on the success of the Homesharing model by matching youth and young adults, not under the care of their parents or another caregiver, with a homeowner who will agree to be a mentor, role model and supportive, caring adult for young people in need of stable housing. An SHS Housing Specialist will provide continuing support to the homeowner, communicating with the homeowner on a weekly basis for the first three months of the match, and as needed following this initial period. Housing for these youth is necessary to achieve stability and security for participants in the program. Partnering agencies will ensure that each participant receives intensive case management and referrals to services so that a continuum of care tailored for each young person in the program. Shared Housing is excited to take on this new challenge, one they feel meets a real need in our communities. Supplying each unaccompanied youth that is accepted into the program with some basic supplies will send an important message of hope and support to our participants. For $10 you can provide a homeless youth with a pillow & pillow case; for $20 a towel set and for $30 a welcome laundry basket with toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, and towels. For more information, contact Marty Hawkins or check out their website at www.sharedhousingservices.org/
Rev. Paul Edwards and his wife, Brenda established Antioch Ministry in 2011 and have recently begun their second year of holding non-denominational worship services and serving Christ in the community. Antioch seeks to make a difference for Christ in the South Seattle area for people from all walks of life. Emulating the early Church, Antioch has a vision of breaking human barriers of ethnicity and culture by establishing a multi-cultural congregation to worship together. They seek “unity in diversity” and to demonstrate that Christ can make diverse people one people. This is an important message in a world broken by cultural, ethnic and racial tensions. A gift of $5, $20 or $50 will be considered a “love offering” and will support the cost of renting the facilities where Antioch holds worship. This financial support is vital while Antioch builds a congregation large enough to support the ongoing costs of ministry. For more information, contact Mel Vatne or check out their website at http://www.antiochministry.net/
The Des Moines Area Food Bank (DMAFB) serves the city of Des Moines, most of SeaTac and the west hill of Kent. Its mission is to alleviate hunger in our community by providing food assistance to any person in need. Well over half of the students in the DMAFB’s service area qualify for the federal free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs. For some children, these are their only two meals of the day. The Food Bank has partnered with the Highline School District to distribute backpacks of food to children at risk of hunger over the weekend. A gift of just $5 gives a child a weekend of nutritious food in their backpack. In addition to food donations, the food bank is able to purchase food at wholesale prices form non-profit distributors and participate in bulk buys with other food banks in South King County. The benefit is that the gift of $20 will provide a family of four enough food for a week. For more information, check out their website at www.myfoodbank.com, or talk to Don King.
KentHOPE is an association of congregations, agencies, businesses and individuals who care for the homeless in South King County. KentHOPE is committed to developing a comprehensive approach to providing clear pathways out of homelessness. Their service area extends to the eastern boundary of Des Moines. In addition to providing a variety of meal programs, shelters and emergency funds, this coalition is in the process of opening a day center that will offer daily meals, showers and laundry facilities, computer access, mental health services, job services, storage space for personal items and a clothing bank. For $5 you can feed a homeless person for one day; for $20 a voice mailbox/postal box will be provided to assist in finding employment; and for $50 a counseling session can be offered. For more information, contact Marty Hawkins or access their website at http://KentHOPE.org
St. Francis Xavier School is a primary school in Dete, Zimbabwe, that was discovered by Nancy Fleener and Billie Grande on their recent trip. The school was formally established in 1961, with the help of American people through funds raised by then actress Loretta Young. The school serves a community from diverse economic backgrounds from an approximate 20 km radius. The majority of the students come from peasant farming families who are struggling to survive. Currently, there are 601 students (136 who are orphaned) and 19 staff. The school is attempting to provide a quality education despite poor financial support from the government, and from unpaid tuitions by parents who cannot afford to pay. Three items have been identified that would be tremendously helpful for the students and the staff. First, your purchase of a textbook for $15 will enable a classroom to greatly expand their learning options. Secondly, you could purchase a sweatshirt for a student for $20. In the winter, the evening and morning temperatures can dip into the high 30’s and there is no heat in the school. A sweatshirt can provide warmth so a child can focus better in class and on the long walk to and from school. Finally, for just $30, you could provide a student tuition for a full term, allowing a poor child to continue learning at St. Francis. Want more information? Nancy and Billie are eager to share what they learned!