A new way to give

After talk that last year’s Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse might end, a new volunteer leadership team took control in order to continue the annual event.

“I volunteered with the (giving market) group before, and I knew they were getting tired because, I mean, they started it,” said Sandra Kelly, member of the new market leadership team. “They had been talking about wanting to transition over.”

The giving market features 32 local nonprofit organizations, allowing community members to give their friends and family an “alternative gift” by donating on their behalf, said Jamie Hill, another member of the market leadership team. Every organization decorates their area in an attempt to make the event festive and fun.

“It’s a way to get a gift for that person that you don’t know what to get, and it’s a way to give back to the community,” Hill said.

The 10th annual Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse will start 4 p.m. Thursday at the 1912 Center in downtown Moscow, ending around 8 p.m.

Kelly said there are more than 100 nonprofit organizations in Moscow — some large businesses and some made up of a single person.

Because of venue size, the number of organizations that participate is limited, but there are usually a few new nonprofits featured each year, Kelly said.

“We want it to be a wide mix,” Kelly said. “So, we really do focus on trying to mix it up and allow people to have a lot of choices.”

Hill said shoppers can make a donation of any size, with a minimum of $5, and receive a specialized holiday card of their choice.

She said each organization designs three cards for shoppers to choose from when they make their donation, and unlike in previous years, there is not a donation amount specified for each card.

“It means so much more than $5,” Hill said. “You can buy somebody a cup of coffee, or you can give a donation to a nonprofit that might help them put on a new event.”

Every donation is tax deductible and all credit card fees are covered by the Latah County Community Foundation so nonprofits will receive 100 percent of donations made, Hill said.

Donations can also be made online at www.agmpalouse.org through Dec. 14, providing an opportunity for anyone who cannot attend to donate, Hill said. When donations are made online, cards are mailed to buyers.

Hill said the giving market allows the community and people involved with nonprofit organizations to learn about similar organizations.

She said the nonprofits have a sense of camaraderie and love for one another, coming together to support each other.

Moscow is home to an eclectic group of people, and while the university and greater communities are separate, they blend well together, Kelly said, which is partly why the giving market works so well.

Kelly said she thinks many people in Moscow like to give back — if they have a lot, they give a lot, and if they have a little, they give a little.

“Moscow is a community much more than it is a town,” Hill said.

Jordan Willson can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu

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