YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Southern California File

November 12, 1994|ROSANNE KEYNAN

"Alternative holiday markets--where people 'buy' gifts of charity--are a good way to honor someone who doesn't need more material goods," says Harriet Pritchard.

Her nonprofit organization, Alternative Gift Markets Inc., has been helping congregations and schools organize them for 15 years.

Participating organizations set up colorful displays featuring agencies that aid the hungry and homeless, offer education, preserve the environment, provide safe drinking water and administer medical assistance.

Honorees receive information about the recipient charity in a holiday card saying that a gift has been made in their name.

Pritchard started her first market as a teaching device for children in a church she belonged to in Pasadena. Over the years, alternative markets have grown in popularity. This year, Pritchard estimates, 40 churches in Los Angeles and Orange counties will use her "how-to" manuals, workshops and staff members to help set up markets. Worldwide, she expects the total will be 260 markets.

Twelve years ago Pritchard launched a catalogue, "My Shopping List for the World," for which she researches the track records of Christian and secular relief and self-development projects.

Each charity included in the catalogue must certify that money received through catalogue orders is spent solely on goods and services, not overhead. Her organization makes no money from the project, she said.

This year's edition features 22 projects, including primary health care for villagers in Laos, administered by the Mennonite Central Committee. A $5 gift, she notes, can protect one Laotian against malaria for a year. Twenty dollars will purchase a goat to provide milk and cheese for hungry Haitians.

Closer to home, $5 can buy a day's meals for one person through Food USA for Hungry Americans. And $15 can provide one night's lodging for a battered woman and her children through Safe Havens for Battered Women. Other gifts help Pasadena AIDS Service provide rent assistance to AIDS patients who are no longer able to work.

Among the local churches holding alternative Christmas markets are:

* Woodland Hills Presbyterian Church, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday at 5751 Platt Avenue. (818) 346-7894.

* Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church in Claremont, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 20 at 435 Berkeley Avenue. (714) 626-3596.

* All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at 132 N. Euclid Avenue. (818) 796-1172 or (213) 681-9441.

For further information about alternative markets, or for a free catalogue, contact: Alternative Gift Markets Inc., P.O. Box 2267, Lucerne Valley, Calif., 92356-2267.


Traditional holiday gift fairs provide a festive shopping environment, some one-of-a-kind items and a way for congregations to raise money. Christmas and Hanukkah sales at the following sites will feature baked goods, handicrafts, plants, jewelry, clothing and gifts. Admission is free, unless indicated.

* Culver-Palms United Methodist Church, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. 4464 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City. (310) 390-7717.

* Temple Beth Am, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7353.

* Unitarian Universalist Church of Studio City's Fair and Live and Silent Auction, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. today. Admission is $6. 12355 Moorpark St., Studio City. (818) 769-5911.

* Temple Akiba in Culver City, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. 5249 S. Sepulveda Boulevard. (310) 398-5783.

* Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 19. 1343 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 452-1166.

* Burbank Temple Emanu El, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 20; 1302 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank. (818) 845-1734.


* A free forum, "Repairing Our Fragmented America: A Post-Election Analysis," will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Speakers are William Schneider, an American Enterprise Institute fellow and media commentator; columnist Xandra Kayden, an Institute for Leadership Studies fellow at Loyola-Marymount University; Southern Christian Leadership Conference regional director Joe. R. Hicks, and the Rev. Michael A. Mata, Urban Leadership Institute director at the School of Theology at Claremont. 3663 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 388-2401.

* The members of Brookins Community African Methodist Episcopal Church will conclude a weekend of appreciation and celebration for the Rev. T. Larry Kirkland with a service at 6 p.m. Sunday. Kirkland, who has been the pastor of Brookins since its founding, will lead a celebration of the church's 18th anniversary and kick off his campaign for the position of bishop. Elections will be held at the denomination's general conference in Louisville, Ky. in June, 1996. 4831 S. Gramercy Place, Los Angeles. (213) 296-5610.

Los Angeles Times Articles