The 2017 Alternative Gift Market: Give the Gift of Compassion

This holiday season, give the original gift that keeps giving: compassion. You can buy compassion at the 2017 Alternative Gift Market (AGM), where it is available in the form of gifts that assist fellow human beings with basic needs and self-sufficiency. What better way to honor those on your holiday list than by gifting compassion in their names?

More than 30 organizations will be represented at the AGM, offering pre-determined, one time contributions that fund specific activities or aspects of their programs. Examples include $50 for a night of shelter for a woman and two children, $25 for a month of health care coverage for an area child, $30 for warm winter clothing for a local resident, and $15 for school supplies for two Northern Virginia students.

Participating local organizations include Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter, Cornerstones (formerly Reston Interfaith), Helping Hungry Kids, Kids R First, Medical Care for Children Partnership, Friends of Homeless Animals, Lift Me Up, Young Playwrights and OAR. Global organizations include Amazon Adopt-a-School Project, BEADS for Education, Global Camps Africa, and Heifer International Projects.

Alternative Gift Market Spokesperson Nancy Gordon-Brooks explains the buying process: “Each vendor will have a table at the market staffed by representatives who can explain the organization’s mission and the available gifts. Buyers can purchase gifts in honor of someone on their holiday gift lists or from themselves. Each gift is accompanied by a thank you card describing the purchase.”

The Alternative Gift Market and Craft Fair will take place December 2 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at Unitarian Universalist Church of Reston, 1625 Wiehle Avenue, Reston VA. While organized and hosted by UUCR, this is a completely secular event. Details and a complete list of available gifts can be found at


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