What is an Alternative Gift Market?
Our AGM is an annual project of the Missions and Outreach Ministry of First Presbyterian Church and is held around Thanksgiving time. In the past years, the AGM has included fair trade items for sale that support artisans and farmers from all over the globe, as well as providing information about and the opportunity to donate to ministries providing disaster relief, clean water and solar power, micro loans, education, sustainable farming opportunities and medical care. Buying fair trade gifts or making donations in honor of family and friends provides an “alternative” to the traditional gifts and allows you to make a difference with meaningful gifts that keep on giving.
Prior to the pandemic, the AGM was an in person market open to our church and community. Last year and this year, we are conducting the market as an on-line donation program only. This year’s market will not include an opportunity to purchase fair trade crafts and products, but these items may be ordered on-line directly from the fair trade ministry. These are unprecedented times and in the undeveloped countries where these ministries serve, your monetary support will continue to build hope.
The AGM on-line giving dates will be from November 1 through December 11 and Shelby, the church on-line giving platform, will allow you to make your donations through the church. If you have never used this platform, you must create an account, which is very simple. As you read about each ministry listed below, there is a place to click and enter your donation amount. When you are finished with your “shopping”, there will be a total amount entered that can be paid with a charge card. If you have any trouble please call the church office 830-257-3310. In addition, if you prefer, the church office also will have a hard copy of the ministry summaries and a place for you to enter an amount by the ministries you wish to contribute to. Return your form and check to the church office before December 11, 2021. Gift cards also will be available at the church office. All donations will be shown on your year-end giving statement and noted as donations through the Alternative Gift Market. Each ministry will receive a check in the amount of donations collected through this year’s AGM.
We hope this change will enable us to publicize the AGM more effectively and demonstrate the impact of the AGM in supporting our ministry partners.