Looking for alternative to Christmas shopping? Check out this event

Friends and family aren’t the only ones with holiday wish lists — Springfield and global organizations have them, too

Visitors to Covenant Presbyterian Church’s Alternative Christmas Market can help fulfill them. Shoppers can speak to representatives from 13 organizations and then choose from a list of their needs to give a monetary donation that symbolizes those items on behalf of a friend or relative.

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The 13th annual event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at the church, 201 N. Limestone St.

“We want to be able to gift things to people that don’t need to be stored or dusted,” church spokeswoman Diane Van Auker said.

Gifts vary from $5 to $100 and range from a book for the Clark County Literacy Coalition to a bag of groceries for Second Harvest Food Bank to a goat to be used for milk, meat and breeding through Heavenly Loaves El Salvador Bakery.

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Other organizations at the market will include the Alzheimer’s Association of Miami Valley, Clark County Fuller Center for Housing, Clark County Special Olympics, Interfaith Hospitality Network, Naomi’s Heart Mission, Oesterlen Life Skills Center, Open Hands Free Store, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian World Mission and Project Woman. Visitors also can make donations to the Springfield Peace Center.

Children can make crafts while their parents browse the market, and snacks are available for shoppers as they wait for a personalized card to be prepared for the gift’s recipient.

All gifts are tax deductible and a receipt is provided. Checks and credit cards are accepted. No names are kept on a mailing list, Van Auker said.

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“That’s something that we guard very strongly,” she said.

In a year that has been filled with divisiveness, Van Auker said the Alternative Christmas Market encourages harmony and unites people around good causes.

“And I think people are maybe looking for opportunities like that right now,” she said.

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