Our congregation is comprised of 1,750 members, and has held services in downtown Denton for 160 years. We strive to make a difference in our community and in the world. FUMC-Denton has been hosting the Alternative Gifts Fair since 1986. 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 $243,000 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 35 vendors sell their one-of-a-kind artisan items and crafts providing an alternative for gift giving and, at the same time, raising money of which 100% benefits the non-profit organizations represented. Fair trade goods, handmade merchandise by third-world-country 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.
We have many success stories that show us that together we can make a difference in our community and the world.
Paper for Water: “Every 15 seconds a child dies because they don’t have clean water,” says Isabelle Adams in an interview to the Dallas Morning News. Paper for Water gives origami ornaments in exchange for donations. These donations are used by Living Water International to drill clean water wells in developing countries. Through sales and matching grants, Paper for Water raised over $8,000 at the 2104 AGF and built a well in Sue Ta, Liberia. Over 500 people now have to clean water access thanks to this amazing mission.
Heifer International: Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. It empowers families to turn poverty into prosperity by bringing sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a history of poverty. Heifer’s animals provide food and reliable income. “Passing on the gift” allows families to share the offspring from their animals with others. For over 25 years Heifer has been the most popular booth at the Alternative Gifts Fair. Last year, our church bought $10,000 worth of goats for Nepal.
November 3 - 5:00 - 8:00 pm
November 4 - 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
November 5 - 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
Here is a sneak peek of some of our 2017 vendors:
2016 AGF Vendors
Baskets of Hope, part of the Nehemiah Project, brought fabric baskets back from Haiti. The AGF will have only 30 baskets, so shop early.
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.
You can shop on line with Bought Beautifully, or you can see the merchandise yourself at the AGF. Bought Beautifully represents dozens of independent nonprofits.
Community/Congregational Artisans: With a matching grant from Vision’s Sunday School Class, the CCA booth raised over $6000 for UMCOR, One Great Hour of Sharing. The AGF chose our neighbor, Denton Community Health Clinic, to be the recipient of funds. A worthy cause! Will you help
Children’s Day Out is a mission of First United Methodist Church. They provide quality daycare at reasonable rates. The addition of a $300 matching grant from a local businesswoman increased their proceeds from $203 to $800 in 2014.
Children’s Council, Mission Possible Kids and GLOW worked together last year to put a $250 matching grant to good use. With the addition of the matching grant they increased their earning to over $600 for Baby House Orphanage in Saratov, Russia.
If you get hungry while shopping, Credo has the answer. Stop by their ‘food truck’ for a bite to eat.
Dawn of Hope International raises funds to educate women in Myanmar and a seminary in Ecuador. The $500 matching grant inspired shoppers so much, they increased their proceeds from $2000 to $5766.
In 2015 the Denton Community Health Center was the recipient of the proceeds from the Congregational/Community Artisans booth. They had so much fun they want to return as a vendor in this year’s fair. They will be selling the artwork of their clients and Christmas cards.
The Denton Wesley Foundation is a campus outreach ministry established by the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. They serve students from the University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University and North Central Texas College. Last year they achieved their ambitious goal of starting a food bank for hungry students. A grant would help them with any new projects they will start this year.
One of our greatest success stories is Denton Christian Preschool. They were the lucky recipients of two matching grants! Two Denton businessmen offered grants that inspired shoppers, or maybe it was the smell of those great tamales that inspired the shopping! Including grants they made $1500 in 2014.
The Denton Community Food Center is new to the Alternative Gifts Fair this year. Its mission is to provide food from a central community storehouse to needy individuals and families in emergency situations. With $10 they are able to purchase approximately $60-70 dollars worth of food. Just think how a matching grant will help them!
Empty Bowls is joining the AGF for the first time in 2015. The Empty Bowls of Denton is a ministry of Christ The Servant Lutheran Church. They typically divide their proceeds between the Our Daily Bread soup kitchen and the Denton Community Food Center. Let’s get them off to a good start by offering them a matching grant.
Fred Moore Day Nursery -- In 2014 the New Horizons Sunday School class offered FMDN a $400 matching grant. The grant inspired donations to total $1675.
FUMC Youth members worked hard to earn the $500 matching grant that was offered to them anonymously from a local businessman. Their pride upon earning this money was heartwarming! Now that they have had a taste of success they are ready for a challenge again this year.
FunStop needs your help. Last year’s total, including a $100 matching grant was $400. Let’s find a grant for them that will inspire shoppers to donate funds for scholarships for their needy students.
Giving Hope, Inc. had a huge increase from 2013-2014. Perhaps that was because of the two matching grants offered as a reward for selling poinsettias. Their proceeds were $1400. They could use some more help this year.
Goodies Galore, welcome back to your second year with us! Last year’s proceeds were over $2000 benefiting the Lenten Rebuild. Everyone reaps the benefit of this booth, as there are goodies galore to buy!
Habitat for Humanity needs your help. Their $250 matching grant inspired donations that totaled $670. This great organization has the potential to raise much more. Could you help?
Heifer International has been a favorite mission of FUMC for over 30 years. The $500 matching grant boosted their proceeds to $6100. That is an ark and more! A grant will easily inspire shoppers to donate to Heifer.
The Alternative Gifts Fair is happy to have Interfaith Ministries participating for their fifth time. Interfaith has a special place in the hearts of FUMC-Denton members. Interfaith helps hundreds of people who are in emergency situations and have no money. They need your help. Consider making a donation to them at the AGF.
Help Kairos 10 net a village. Working through Imagine no Malaria, FUMC can be responsible for netting a village by selling only 75 pieces of jewelry….beautiful jewelry.
The Latin-American Ministry in booming! Several businessmen went together last year to offer a $350 matching grant, then an FUMC shopper dropped by to contribute $500. When you add that to the proceeds from merchandise sales, they raised almost $1700. If this mission speaks to you, please consider a matching grant for them.
Marfa Ministry had their best year ever, having made almost $4000 for our partner church in Saratov, Russia. The $500 matching grant from a local businessman helped to inspire shoppers to buy beautiful merchandise that is the artwork of Eurasian pastors.
The Monsignor King Outreach Center is an ecumenical outreach to Denton’s homeless population. Msgr. King first opened the doors of the Narthex at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church during a cold winter night in 2009. They need volunteers and donation for funding. You matching grant will encourage others to help.
Our Daily Bread is the master of matching grants. Two years in a row, a local business challenged them with a $1000 matching grant. Think how many people are fed with the extra money, not to mention, how that extra money motivated other shoppers to make donations.
Paper for Water is an FUMC favorite. Kathryn and Isabelle will steal your hearts and inspire you to give, give and give. In 2013 and 2014 they were challenged to sell more ornaments by a local businessman who offered them a $1000 grant. They did It!
New to the fair this year is Project Transformation. Their mission is to help young adults into leadership roles and ministry, support underserved children and families, and connect churches to communities in need.
Red Bird Mission is the oldest Methodist mission in the nation. They have never had a matching grant, so this is the year to help them. Last year they made almost $900. Are you the one to give them a boost by providing a grant?
Rivera Elementary and FUMC have partnered for four years. They need new Bluebonnet Awards Nominee book for the library. This is a perfect opportunity for a challenge grant!
Shastra joined us for the first time in 2014 and they were a hit among the shoppers. Anu, the director, has a special touch working with the ladies from India to make gifts just right for your purchases. A matching grant would be perfect to assist the Living Foundation.
Threads of Hope – The story of Threads of Hope is inspirational. This is the year to stimulate purchases. A FUMC volunteer has taken this project under her wings. Their proceeds are typically $3000-$4000 dollars. Think what a difference a grant would make for them.
Do you need some baskets to get yourself organized? Tia has just the basket for you. They are made in Ghana, and are perfect for organization, or just use them to decorate your home.
When you purchase from Trash to Treasures, you're not just buying a great product, you're also helping to promote the idea that the people of the Philippines don't need to be poor and their children don't have to be hungry. Please help Trash to Treasure send this positive message by giving a matching grant.
Our own United Methodist Women are constantly hard at work to make money for missions. They have not been the recipient of a matching grant so maybe this is the year for them. Last year’s proceeds were $1990. Let’s help put them over the $2000 mark with a matching grant.
XSProject is a mission whose proceeds go to help women and families in Indonesia. Their products are made from trash. It is literally from trash to treasure. Since they never know what trash they will get, every item is one-of-a-kind. This is their first year to participate. Won’t you help?
Last Year's Matching Grant Sponsors
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