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November 8, 2012
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Grand Junction's Alternative Christmas Fair helps local, global causes

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - So what do you gift the person who has everything?In that person's honor, you could give to someone who doesn't have much.The 22nd annual Alternative Christmas Fair, hosted by Grand Valley Peace and Justice, offers people an opportunity to give the gift of giving. It's a festive event with free cookies and coffee, live piano music throughout the day, and colorful and interesting booths describing each of the projects.For example, a $5 donation buys a home-cooked meal for a migrant farmworker, or a lesson in English as a second language at Child and Migrant Services in Palisade. A $10 donation buys a box of nails for Habitat for Humanity of Mesa County. Fifty bucks pays for a dental visit for one adult at Marillac Clinic - or you can purchase a share for $10.Or, if you're thinking globally, $30 provides five books for a school or library in Nicaragua. In Vietnam, $17 will buy a study lamp and school books for a child. Eighty-two dollars in Haiti will buy pharmacy supplies and antibiotics to treat malaria, gastro-intestinal illness and vaccinations.Shoppers receive a customized holiday card for each donation, that tells the person about the gift made in their honor.There are also small items that people can purchase at the event.The locally-based organization Light Gives Heat will sell handmade crafts from Uganda. Free trade coffee and chocolate sales will benefit the Sheepherders' Project and Grand Valley Peace and Justice, respectively. Several local nonprofit organizations are decorating Christmas trees to sell via silent auction. Proceeds from the Christmas tree sales will go toward participating organizations: Karis (the House for homeless teens), Community Food Bank, Roice-Hurst Animal Society, Light Gives Heat, Center for Independence, Homeward Bound, Hispanic Affairs Project, Colorado DiscoverAbility, and Habitat for Humanity of Mesa County.The Catholic Church will sell bricks from the historic St. Joseph Parish Hall, which was demolished last week due to structural problems beyond repair. The bricks come with an engraving of your choice, either "St. Joseph Parish, 1906-2012," or your name or someone else's you wish to honor. The bricks will become part of a "donor wall" on the new addition to the church.Fifty local, national or international nonprofit organizations will be represented at the fair.

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The Post Independent Updated Nov 9, 2012 03:35PM Published Nov 8, 2012 05:55PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.