Alternative Gifts Fair
Our congregation is comprised of 1,750 members and has held services in downtown Denton for over 160 years. We strive to make a difference in our community and in the world. FUMC-Denton has been hosting the Alternative Gifts Fair (AGF) since 1986. This fair is different than most. It is not a fundraiser for the church, but an opportunity for shoppers to purchase unique and one-of-a-kind items with all proceeds going to missions and non-profits. In the last three years, AGF has raised over $243,000.
The idea of the fair is to offer our members and the Denton community an alternative for their holiday shopping. Over 35 vendors sell their one-of-a-kind artisan items and crafts providing an alternative for gift giving and, at the same time, raising money with 100% benefiting the non-profit organizations represented. Fair trade goods, handmade merchandise by third-world-country artisans and merchandise donated by both FUMC members and Denton locals make the fair an event not to be missed. People from around our region come to the fair year after year to buy creative and unique items in a fun and safe environment, avoiding the rush and craziness of the malls.
We have many success stories demonstrating that together we can make a difference in our community and the world.
Paper for Water: “Every 15 seconds a child dies because they don’t have clean water,” says Isabelle Adams in an interview with the Dallas Morning News. Paper for Water gives origami ornaments in exchange for donations. These donations are used by Living Water International to drill clean water wells in developing countries.
Heifer International: Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. It empowers families to turn poverty into prosperity by bringing sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a history of poverty. Heifer’s animals provide food and reliable income. “Passing on the gift” allows families to share the offspring from their animals with others. For over 25 years Heifer has been the most popular booth at the Alternative Gifts Fair.
November 8, 5-8 pm
November 9, 9 am - 3 pm
November 10, 9 am - 1 pm
Here are some of our vendors:
Batwa Baskets/The Kellerman Foundation supports the displaced Batwa pygmies. The Batwa pygmies are among the poorest people in the world. They sell their handcrafted baskets in an attempt to become self-sufficient. Proceeds support healthcare, education, job training, home building, clean water projects and community development.
Community/Congregational Artisans: With a matching grant from the Vision Sunday School Class, the CCA booth raised over $6000 for One Great Hour of Sharing to benefit the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
Children’s Day Out is a mission of First United Methodist Church. They provide quality daycare at reasonable rates.
Dawn of Hope International raises funds to educate women in Myanmar and a seminary in Ecuador.
Denton Community Health Center sells the artwork of their clients and Christmas cards.
The Denton Wesley Foundation is a campus outreach ministry established by the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. They serve students from the University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University and North Central Texas College. AGF proceeds helped them start a food bank for hungry students.
One of our greatest success stories is Denton Christian Preschool. They were the lucky recipients of two matching grants, or maybe it was the smell of those great tamales that inspired the shopping!
The Denton Community Food Center provides food from a central community storehouse to needy individuals and families in emergency situations. With $10 they are able to purchase approximately $60-70 dollars worth of food.
Empty Bowls is a ministry of Christ The Servant Lutheran Church. They typically divide their proceeds between the Our Daily Bread soup kitchen and the Denton Community Food Center.
Grace Road International, Nepal - the ministry consists of different departments: Children's home - 70 children from mountains and villages are fed and schooled by the ministry because there are no schools in their area. At the Church Planting and Training School adults are trained to be pastors and sent to start churches in villages. There are also several programs which develop skills such as sewing, English as a Second Language and micro business projects for the widows, uneducated and unemployed families.
Hearts for Homes, founded in 2006, is a nonprofit Christian outreach providing hope and dignity through home rehabilitation affording low-income seniors a safe, comfortable and well-functioning home.
Heifer International has been a favorite mission of FUMC for over 30 years.
Interfaith Ministries has a special place in the hearts of FUMC-Denton members as it was begun in this church. Interfaith helps hundreds of people who are in emergency situations and have no money.
Marfa Ministry sells beautiful merchandise that is the artwork of Eurasian pastors.
ODIM (Organization for Development of the Indigenous Maya) serves San Juan and San Pablo la Laguna, towns located on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, with clinics, health education, housing and community development.The ODIM booth features items handmade and purchased in San Juan la Laguna.
Our Daily Bread is a community soup kitchen located in Denton. They serve a free, nutritious lunch meals Monday through Saturday.
Paper for Water is an FUMC favorite. Their primary function is to raise money to fund water wells world-wide. Paper For Water is committed to teaching children in developed countries about the world water crisis. Paper For Water is striving to help children in developing countries gain access to clean water and sanitation.
Red Bird Mission is the oldest Methodist mission in the nation. They have been providing ministries in this region of the Appalachian Mountains since 1921.
Threads of Hope – The story of Threads of Hope is inspirational. Theyare passionate about life-changing economic development and micro-finance for disadvantaged women. Artisan handwork is the second largest income-generating sector in the developing world; so supporting the global sales of that handwork allows impoverished artists around the globe to create better lives for themselves and their families.
Do you need some baskets to get yourself organized? Ti-a has just the basket for you. They are made in Ghana and are perfect for organization, or just use them to decorate your home.
When you purchase from Trash to Treasures, you're not just buying a great product, you're also helping to promote the idea that the people of the Philippines don't need to be poor and their children don't have to be hungry.
Our own United Methodist Women are constantly hard at work to make money for missions.
XSProject is a mission whose proceeds go to help women and families in Indonesia. Their products are made from trash. It is literally from trash to treasure. Since they never know what trash they will get, every item is one-of-a-kind.
ZOE Ministry empowers orphans and vulnerable children to never need charity again. It is a locally based three-year program that empowers children in groups of 60-100 to mutually support one another as they take the lead in their journey out of poverty. After three years, ZOE graduates are fully self-sufficient, able to provide for themselves and their families. These children become leaders in their community, giving back and teaching others what they have learned to systematically stop the cycle of poverty.