The fourth annual Santa Fe Alternative Gift Market will be open with extended hours this December in the DeVargas Mall, giving shoppers more time to select from a wide array of tax-deductible gifts that provide urgently needed assistance to local and international humanitarian organizations.
Beginning with a grand opening celebration Friday, December 6, 5-7 p.m., the market will be open all the weekend of the 7th and 8th and the weekend of the 14th an 15th during mall hours (9 a.m. to 8p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.) In addition, the market will be open several weeknight evenings the 9th through the 13th.
New to the market this year will be Santa Fe Public Library Early Readers Programs. Returning to the market are LaFamilia Medical Center, Interfaith Community Shelter, Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families, NM Veterans Helping Homeless Veterans and Alternative Gifts International.
In the market, shoppers select from about one hundred different donations in varying price ranges that they can make in honor of a friend, loved one, or associate. The items range locally from providing prenatal lab tests that could reveal possible complications for expectant mothers to providing a safe shelter for victims of abuse; from providing food assistance for a homeless veteran to buying a children’s book for the library; from purchasing a sleeping bag to providing needed kitchen supplied for use at the shelter.
Internationally, gifts range from providing beehive colonies or rabbits to families in Haiti to shipping anti-malarial treatments for pregnant women in Burma; from distributing sleeping mats or blankets to women and children spending nights in the cold seeking health care in North Korea to paying for investigative work for a survivor of sex trafficking.
After making their purchases, shoppers obtain printed announcements describing the project to which they are donating. They insert the description a greeting card to mail to the person they are honoring with this gift.
The market is staffed and operated by local Santa Fe volunteers in cooperation with Alternative Gifts International (www.altgifts.org), a non-profit organization that inspires support for humanitarian and environmental causes. It offers donors the option to designate charitable gifts through carefully selected agencies in the name of their relatives, friends and associates.