The Pennsylvania Gifts that Give Hope (GTGH) Fair is an event meant to provide a very unique holiday experience through the help of volunteers in the Lancaster area. The event coordinators look for non-profit organizations that represent different faiths, cultures and customs from all over the world. Some nonprofit organizations that are participating this year include HOPE International, Mental Health America of Lancaster County, One Home Many Hopes and Teen Haven.
Elizabethtown College students had some very positive things to say about this event. “The Pennsylvania Gifts that Give Hope Fair seems like a very caring and worthwhile organization to be a part of,” sophomore Sara Heldmann said. “The giving of Christmas presents that seem unconventional to us, but life altering to others around the world is a rewarding experience. The program is similar to a non-profit organization I have worked with before, and I would be interested in helping the cause.” The gift fair promotes and celebrates what people can do to fight injustices that occur around the world.
With so much news about issues that separate people, the group hopes the fair gives an opportunity for people from all different religions, cultures and backgrounds to work together to tackle worldly issues such as poverty, gender inequality and injustice. “I think that the program is a great idea! It gives the less fortunate a chance to celebrate the holidays without having to worry where they are going to get the money from,” sophomore Kimmy Barone said.
The group’s mission is “to promote charitable, alternative giving through an annual gift fair that offers Lancaster-area residents an opportunity to purchase holiday gifts in support of nonprofit organizations’ contributions to a better world,” according to www.giftsthatgivehope.org. The group is a non-profit organization that helps service, community and faith-based groups raise awareness of needs in the area by planning events, securing donations and encouraging volunteers.
The gift fair is a great opportunity to give back to the community. “I think it’s a great idea. For one, I appreciate the fact that the group attempts to involve organizations that promote diversity and international awareness. Aside from that, I also think it’s important to promote giving, even if it isn’t through the stereotypical purchase of gifts associated with the Christmas season nowadays,” sophomore Andrew Herm said. Sophomore Lindsay Hetherington agreed, “The program sounds great! It’s great that people are able to help not only those in their community, but those elsewhere in the world as the holiday season approaches. It truly embodies the holiday spirit.”
You can learn about many local, national and international organizations that are making a difference in the world by attending the fair. Some examples of alternative gifts are a flock of chicks for a family in Haiti, food for an orphanage or life-saving medicine and medical supplies.
Some other gifts that will be provided in addition to the alternative gifts’ are Delicious Peace coffee, Divine chocolate and Bead for Life Jewelry, which is an organization that provides Ugandan women a way to earn a living by making one-of-a-kind jewelry out of colorful, recycled paper. The fair is a very successful event, raising $80,965 since 2008.
The fair will be held on Sunday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be located at the Farm and Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road in Lancaster, Pa. If you would like to participate in this event, but cannot make it to the fair, you can do your shopping online at http://giftsthatgivehope.org/lancaster. There is also an opportunity to volunteer at this event, for more information contact the Lancaster Gifts that Give Hope Fair Committee at LancasterGiftFair@gmail.com.