It's not about buying "stuff", it's about doing good. Belgrade is hosting their first annual Alternative Gift Market on November 9th and it's a cool way to give a gift without spending money on things your friends don't need anyway. Here's the lowdown:

Belgrade Alternative Gift Market November 9th

The Belgrade Community will hold its First Annual Belgrade Community Alternative Gift Market on November 9, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Heck/Quaw Elementary School wheelchair accessible gym at 308 N. Broadway in Belgrade. The gift market is a wonderful opportunity to learn about local community projects and projects in the third word that relieve poverty and suffering.

Local projects include the Youth Forum Skate Park, the Gallatin County Food Bank, and Habitat for Humanity.

World efforts include thirty tax deductible projects ranging sewing machines for impoverished women; school supplies, books, and bicycles for children to get to school; water pumps and filters to provide clean drinking water; animals, trees, and seeds to sustain village food resources; and health care, vaccinations, and mosquito nets to protect children through our partner, Alternative Gifts International. An Alternative Gift is a real gift, given in honor of a friend, colleague, or family member.

They invite you to come, listen to music, enjoy a snack, and receive a hand made ornament. Children may take an activity sheet for many of the gift projects that relate to children’s needs worldwide, and craft projects will be available to make or take.

The market, sponsored by the Belgrade Community and supported by helping hands in the community give a twist on holiday shopping, along with a chance to do a little bit to help the world.  Shoppers of all ages will also learn about the countries being sponsored and why their gift is important.

The people in whose names the gifts are given will receive special gift inserts for every gift purchased from the Alternative Gift market that fully describe the project chosen. Special gift cards of appreciation are provided at a low cost.

Harriet Prichard, the founder of Alternative Gifts International, said the idea started in 1980. “It was inspired by children who wanted to give important gifts to their parents, but they didn’t have any money,” Prichard said. “I suggested they give something to children around the world. “Instead of buying holiday gifts, the children pooled what little money they had to buy school supplies for children in Bangladesh.

This year alternative gift markets will be held in more than 350 US cities and in South Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, and Great Britain.

For those who cannot make Saturday’s Market, please stop by to pick up your catalog at the Belgrade District Office at 312 N. Broadway, and “shop” online or by phone.

Please bring nonperishable foods for the Food Bank and Toys for Tots. Purchases can be paid for by cash or check at a single checkout station.