First United Methodist Church of Denton, TX

Alternative Gifts Fair

Using the talents of the world to change the world.

Alternative Gifts

Our congregation is comprised of 1,750 members, and has held services in downtown Denton for 150 years. We strive to make a difference in our community and in the world. FUMC has been hosting the Alternative Gifts Fair for 28 years. This fair is different than most. It is not a fundraiser for the church, but an opportunity for shoppers to purchase unique and one-of-a-kind items with all proceeds going to missions and non-profits. In the last three years FUMC has raised over $100,000 for missions at this event.

The idea of the fair is to offer our members and the Denton community an alternative for their holiday shopping.

Over 20 vendors sell their one-of-a-kind artisanal items providing an alternative for gift giving and at the same time, raising money- 100% of the proceeds- for the non-profit organizations represented. Fair trade goods, handmade merchandise by third world countries’ artisans, and merchandise donated by both First United Methodist Church members and Denton locals make the fair an event not to be missed. People from around our region come to the fair year after year to buy creative and unique items in a fun and safe environment, avoiding the rush and craziness of the malls.

2014 AGF Vendors

Alternative Gifts

BATWA BASKETS/THE KELLERMAN FOUNDATION supports the displaced Batwa pygmies. The Batwa pygmies are among the poorest people in the world. They sell their handcrafted baskets in an attempt to become self-sufficient. Your matching grant will be used to support healthcare, education, job training, home building, clean water projects and community development.

CHILDREN’S DAY OUT is a mission of First United Methodist Church. They provide quality daycare for families at reasonable rates. Their proceeds at the 2013 AGF were $203.

CHILDREN’S COUNCIL is a mission of FUMC. Their proceeds go to Vacation Bible School, one of the largest missions of the church. Last year’s proceeds were $230.

Alternative Gifts

CONGREGATIONAL/COMMUNITY ARTISANS’ recipient changes each year. In 2013, the sales of hand work of church members and community supporters has resulted in almost $6,000 for the Lenten Build. Perhaps this would make a good challenge grant, adding a donation for each new participant donating a handmade item.

DAWN OF HOPE INTERNATIONAL is based in Denton, TX and has been a part of the AGF for two years. Proceeds go to help educate women in Cambodia and to support a seminary in Ecuador. Last year’s proceeds were $2,794.

DENTON CHRISTIAN PRESCHOOL was founded in 1970. It believes that the first few years of a child's life are the most important. Since its foundation professionals and volunteers have taught, fed, loved, and nurtured three and four-year-olds who are considered to be at-risk for succeeding in public school without early intervention. They will be taking orders for homemade tamales. With your matching grant they can touch the lives of many children.

Alternative Gifts

FRED MOORE DAY NURSERY SCHOOL has participated in the AGF for two years. They serve 85 children aged six weeks to 12 years old. To qualify for these services parents must work a minimum of 30 hours per week, attend school or do both. To provide affordable childcare, FMDNS’s fees are charged on a sliding scale based on annual family income and household size using federal government guidelines regarding low income families. Your matching grants will help provide services for these families.

FUMC YOUTH spread their efforts for mission projects Proyecto Abrigo, which built over seven thousand homes, two churches, a medical clinic and a vocational school to serve the poorer communities in Juarez, Mexico and the Big House, a place where neighborhood kids hang out every Sunday to hear about God (projects are subject to change).Help the Youth learn the Wesley way and do good in all the ways you can. Last year’s proceeds were $548. Think of the good they could do if that is doubled!

Alternative Gifts

FUNSTOP provides quality care for school-aged children after school, summer and school holidays. This is a mission of the FUMC-Denton. Proceeds for the 2013 AGF were $185.

GUATEMALA MISSION What is better than having a personal connection with those in need in Guatemala? Members of our congregation are again going to Guatemala to help with the clinic that they helped build. The booth is filled with beautiful textiles and gift items purchased by members of the Mission Team. Last year’s proceeds were $1,098 which were used for this medical mission trip.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY is starting a new building this year. FUMC Denton is donating a portion of the Christmas offering to help. Last year $245 were raised for HFH at the Alternative Gifts Fair. Just think what they could do if we double that!

HEIFER INTERNATIONAL has been the highest earning vendor every year for over 25 years. In 2013, because of a matching grant, Mike Mizell was able to turn $5,000 in donations into $10,000 for Goats for Nepal.

INTERFAITH MINISTRIES has been providing short-term financial assistance to Denton families since 1991. In 2013, more than 1300 families were referred to Interfaith Ministries for emergency assistance. Our goal is to double their proceeds with your matching grant. Last year’s proceeds were $454 dollars.

MARFA MINISTRY is assisting small churches of the world to become self-sufficient. Currently the Saratov, Russia United Methodist Church is in covenant with First United Methodist Church. Money sent to Saratov is used for the completion of the interior of the church so that it can be used for additional income and outreach. Last year Marfa Ministry made $2,900 at the Alternative Gifts Fair.

MISSION POSSIBLE KIDS Do you want to change the world? Then partner with Mission Possible Kids. They will be selling Russian chocolate and handmade dog toys. This is a humanitarian effort to provide supplies for Baby House and much needed materials for the children’s program at Saratov United Methodist Church. The rewards for partnering with MPK are two-fold, supporting FUMC children in mission and the children of Saratov, Russia.

PAPER FOR WATER proceeds go to Living Water International for the drilling of clean water wells in developing countries. They are no stranger to challenge grants. In 2013 they were the recipient of a $1000 challenge grant from Duryea Moving and Storage. With the help of the Mission Possible Kids, last year’s proceeds for the AGF were $4,300.00.

RED BIRD MISSION has been providing assistance to the region of the Appalachian Mountains since 1921. Today the need remains critical in this isolated, rural distressed area. Handmade wooden items continue to be popular with Methodist shoppers. Last year’s AGF proceeds were $864.

SAK SAM/PEARL ALLIANCE After traveling to Cambodia and seeing the work being done to help victims of human trafficking, Victoria Gobel designed a series of Angel pastels. All proceeds from the sales of these cards, pictures and other products go to Sak Sam, a refuge for human trafficking victims. AGF proceeds for 2013 were $122. This is a great opportunity for a great cause.

THREADS OF HOPE is all about life-changing economic development which allows impoverished artists in Peru create better lives for themselves and their families. They do this by facilitating the sale of embroidered textiles. One of the most popular vendors at the 2013 AGF, their proceeds were $4,033.

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN are known for their mission work. The ladies work hard to prepare the soup kits that they sell at the Alternative Gifts Fair. Last year they made over $2,000. They need your help to increase the earnings for their missions.

ZOE empowers vulnerable children to overcome poverty through a three-year empowerment program in Zimbabwe. Even though they were new to the 2013 AGF they had $670 in donations.