holiday gift fair
By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn’t
come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!"
When Dr. Seuss’ Grinch—the one who stole
Christmas—spoke these words he struck a chord for fed up and jaded holiday
"Out of just this sort of despair the idea
for the alternative holiday gift fair was born," said Susan Springer, lay
administrator at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Ketchum.
The St. Thomas Alternative Gift Fair is
being held on Saturday, Nov. 29, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the upper hallway
of the church on Sun Valley Road.
This kind of fair seeks to unite nonprofit
organizations that have a track record of helping people and the environment.
"It provides a way for holiday shoppers to
give gifts that have meaning and help change the world. It helps draw the
community together around common values, and provides an alternative to the
commercial consumptive culture. It supports worthy local non-profit
organizations," Springer explained.
This concept has previously
been promoted by the Center for a New American Dream and has been adopted by
churches around the country. It is, however, new to the Wood River Valley. When
St. Thomas Episcopal Church learned about the idea a decision was made to
organize such a fair for the upcoming holiday season.
Fair-goers can also purchase refreshments
and enjoy live music as they shop.
At least 10 local nonprofit organizations
will have booths at the fair and will offer the chance for holiday shoppers to
make a donation with imagination in the name of someone on their holiday gift
list. In return they receive a card of acknowledgment that explains the gift and
the organization it benefits.
Not a lot of money is required to make a
difference in our valley. For example, for $15 shoppers can purchase a one-month
Peak Bus pass for a woman in safe shelter at The Advocates. An hour of
counseling for a child costs $40. At the Hospice of the Wood River Valley, $25
will pay for an hour of nursing care to help ease the last days of a person who
cannot afford to pay for such care on their own. A Hospice volunteer can receive
20 hours of training for a gift of $50. The Animal Shelter of Wood River Valley
offers a warm quilted doggie vest for a shelter dog for $20.
Other participating organizations include
Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, The Campfire Foundation, Souper Supper, Blaine
County Senior Center, the Environmental Resource Center, Youth Adult Konnection,
and the St. Thomas Bookstore. Space is still available for several more
For more information, contact Susan
Springer at 726-5349, ext. 10.