Hunting for a meaningful Christmas gift that won’t be broken, returned or forgotten?
Look no further than Community Unitarian Universalist Church’s eighth annual Alternative Gift Fair, which runs from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 6 at the church, 2819 W. Sylvester St., in Pasco.
Representatives from local, national and international nonprofits will be on hand to help Tri-Citians pick out a special gift for that hard-to-shop-for friend or family member.
Available gifts include ways to help others: Spend $25 to pay for diapers and formula for the babies at the Domestic Violence Services of Benton & Franklin Counties shelter or $50 for one month of case management for a family in Elijah Family Homes’ transitional housing program.
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Donations at the gift fair can be personalized for recipients with cards featuring the talents of local calligraphers. The donations are all tax deductible.
The church, which has fewer than 65 members, has helped nonprofits raise more than $110,000 through the gift fair in the past seven years. Last year’s gift fair resulted in more than $17,000 in donations.
Donations range from $5 and up, so givers don’t have to spend big to make an impact.
Gifts available at the fair include $5 for four boxes of crayons for Project Literacy, $25 for prevention materials for schools for the Youth Suicide Prevention Program, $50 for the cost of one cataract eye surgery with the Tri-Cities Sunrise Rotary Club’s Ethiopia vision mission and $100 for spay and neuter surgeries for two cats or small dogs through Prevent Homeless Pets.
New this year, the gift fair is featuring nonprofits that are involved in the Tri-Cities Alliance for a Liveable and Sustainable Community. Those nonprofits will be found grouped together during the fair.
Nonprofits that are members of the alliance include the Benton Franklin Community Health Alliance, Friends of Badger Mountain, Friends of Mid-Columbia River Wildlife Refuges, Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society, Ridges to Rivers Open Space Network, Sustainable Energy and Environmental Network also known as SeeNetwork, Sustainable Living Center and Tapteal Greenway.
The alliance is relatively new, and has held several community forums to try to spur community discussion on how to responsibly handle economic development, transportation, technology and energy development and land use and planning.
Brooke DuBois, the alliance’s president, said the group wants to be sure the Tri-Cities strikes a balance between economy, society, environment and posterity as the community continues to grow. Members want to encourage thoughtful planning and cooperation between the region’s many local governments, including counties, cities and port districts.
By joining together, current alliance members and others who choose to join as affiliates will be better heard in the community, she said.
DuBois hopes the gift fair will help the alliance to become more well known in the community, as well as helping the member nonprofits raise money for their efforts.
For more information, including the full list of participating nonprofits, go to www.communityuu.org.