Alternative giving is a form of gift giving in which the giver makes a donation to a charitable organization on the gift recipient’s behalf, rather than giving them an item. At Christmastime, Old First provides an Alternative Gift option for those who may be searching for a special way to acknowledge someone in their life. This year our Alternative Gift option will support the Church World Service, Inc. (CWS), the service arm of the National Council of Churches.
CWS has worked for seven decades with one goal: building a world where there is enough for all. They affirm the power of individuals and communities to take ownership of their future. “We meet them right where they are, helping them create solutions they can maintain — and build on. That means a refugee family who is able to start a new life. Or someone rebuilding after disaster finds safety with dignity.”
All gifts will go to people that CWS works with to support and tackle issues of poverty and injustice. Some of the gift items are nutritional packets, blankets, 1 meter of a borehole well, and educational toys for children. There will be an insert in your bulletin this week that shows you some of the gifts that are available.
On December 11th we will collect a special “Alternative Gift” offering for Church World Services and purchase a gift in honor of Jean Drake who passed away over the summer. Jean was a beloved member of our congregation, and before the last year of her life, prayers up front most Sundays. She often shared her prayers for those less fortunate and for the animals of the world. This is a fitting way to honor her memory.
I will have a table set up on December 4th before worship and December 11th after worship for you to purchase Alternative Gifts and ask any questions you may have about this project. CWS is providing cards that you can send your recipient to make them aware of the gift you have made in their name (and we will make sure the Drakes no of the memorial gift).