San Diegans will have a unique chance to broaden their gift giving during the holiday season by attending the Alternative Christmas Market held at the Village Church in Rancho Santa Fe on Sunday, Nov. 19. Shoppers can choose from a wide array of gifts designed to change the lives of the less fortunate -- a $25 donation buys a backpack filled with school supplies for a child in Syria. Last year, participants in the Market helped to raise more than $100,000 for two dozen local and global charities that partner with the church on a regular basis. All of the money raised goes directly to mission partners, including Care House serving San Diego’s homeless children, Amor Ministries that builds homes for Mexico’s poorest families and the Outreach Foundation, which works with local churches to develop schools and expand education in several communities throughout Kenya.
“Get your Christmas shopping done early by purchasing a special gift on behalf of family and friends. There’s something for everyone on your list and you’ll experience the joy of giving to those in need,” said the Rev. Dr. Jan Farley, associate pastor of the Village Church. Now in its 24th year at the church, the Market offers a chance to support struggling military veterans, cloth and feed orphans in Kenya and Brazil, and develop Christian TV programs for women in the Middle East. New this year, the Market will offer four charming play houses built and decorated by Village Church families with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity.
Shoppers will receive cards that describe each contribution. An online catalogue of items can be found at villagechurch.org/alternative-christmas-market. Here is a sample of some gift items:
$25 buys school books for a student living in a children’s center in Kenya
$50 supports spiritual education programs for refugees from South Sudan living in San Diego
$30 buys a box of nails for building a home in Mexico
$20 provides hot meals for San Diego’s homeless
$125 buys a sewing machine for a woman in India to start a tailoring business
The Alternative Christmas Market will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Nov. 19 in the Village Church Fellowship Center, 6225 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. 92067. For more information, call 858-756-2441 or stop by the church patio on Sunday mornings through Dec. 31.