WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple recently caught up with Judy Crawford, the organizer of the Alternative Gift Fair at the Wilmington Methodist Church.
What’s the Alternative Gift Fair about?
“You’re not buying a material gift to give; you’re giving a gift in honor of someone else. You’re filling a need for a person or group of people. It teaches a great lesson to children. We have gifts for all ages. Each gift benefits a different cause.”
How did the Alternative Gift Fair get started?
“I had heard about Alternative Gift Fairs and thought it could be something the church’s Social Concerns Committee could do. We started out very small and we’ve grown. This is our tenth year. In the past nine years, we’ve contributed more than $17,000 to area causes.”
How do you determine which groups to support?
“We look around. There’s so many out there. We have to pare down the list. We don’t want more than 10 or 11. This year, we’re supporting Heifer International, First City Homeless services, Alternative House, Justice For Our Neighbors, End 68 Hours of Hunger, UMCOR Disaster Relief, Groundwork Lawrence CSA, Pastor’s Discretionary Fund, Silver Linings Mentoring, Father’s Uplift, High Street Food Pantry, and mission trips.”
When can residents shop at the Alternative Gift Fair?
“Sunday, December 9 and Sunday December 16, from 9am to noon, at the Wilmington United Methodist Church. You don’t have to a member of the church to attend. It’s open to all.”
What other initiatives does the Social Committees support?
“Recently, we’ve supported Bags of Hope, which was about human trafficking. We also connected with another church and raised funds so that each of the children in the church could have a book, because many of them didn’t have even one book.”
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