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Saturday, November 26, 2016

DICKENS 2016 ALTERNATIVE GIVING CHRISTMAS FAIR

The First Presbyterian Church of Wellsboro is offering residents and visitors a chance to really make a difference in someone’s life this Christmas.

The church is providing a creative way to encourage support for charitable organizations and reduce the focus on materialism by hosting the 7th Annual Alternative Giving Christmas Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 in the church's Fellowship Hall at 130 Main Street in Wellsboro.

The fair is for those who have people on their Christmas lists who feel they have enough “stuff” or love a particular cause. Or for others that believe Christmas is too commercial, missing the point of honoring the birth of Jesus.

Instead of another scarf for Aunt Martha or one more box of candy for Cousin Frank, shoppers can “buy” food, pillows, blankets, school supplies and other necessary items to help individuals and families in need.

Each gift is actually a double gift – one for the person on the shopper’s list and the other for those in desperate need in this area or in the developing world.

The “shopper” can choose to give the gift in his name or someone else’s. The person in whose name the gift is given will receive an appropriate card informing him of this special present.

Each charitable organization will have a table with pictures, brochures, posters and other materials to explain its mission and goals and have people available to answer questions. Each one will also have a “price list” of items to “purchase.”

As shoppers arrive, they will be given a list of the participating charities. After compiling the list of gifts, each shopper will go to a single checkout point and write one check payable to the First Presbyterian Church. Following the fair, the church will write checks to the supported charities in the full amount of donations made.

Supported organizations include: Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Haven, His Thousand Hills, Medical Benevolence Foundation, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Presbyterian Mission Agency (for Syrian refugee relief), Salvation Army, the Samaritan House, Seeds of Hope Partners, Tioga County Homeless Initiative and the Wellsboro Area Food Pantry.

In just four hours, last year’s Alternative Giving Christmas Fair raised $7,590 for the participating charities.

Free entertainment and light refreshments will be provided. Musicians performing at 11 a.m. are: Dave Milano on guitar, Daria Guelig on hammered dulcimer and concertina, and vocalists Jennifer McCarthy and Molly Howard Cary. Beginning at 12:30 p.m., music will be provided by Dan Krise on mandolin and fiddle, Colleen Krise on flute and guitar, and Jesse Gotschal on guitar.

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