Mission: To send authentic, life-giving gifts to a needy world — gifts that build a partnership with oppressed people in crisis and that protect and preserve the earth's endangered environment — to nourish and sustain a more equitable and peaceful global community.
Alternative Gifts International is a nonprofit, interfaith agency developed by Harriet Prichard, who demonstrated for the children in a church ministry she directed in 1980 that Christmas could be celebrated in a noncommercial way. She organized a market in which they, and many adults in her congregation, sold relief and self-development goods and animals for people in Third World countries, providing cards to be inscribed with the gifts purchased and sent to friends, relatives, and others to inform them that an alternative gift — a bike for healthcare workers in Tanzania, for instance — had been given in their honor. Soon, other churches, schools, and community organizations adopted the project, which she organized into AGI in 1986. By 2004, 115 alternative gift markets had been held in forty-three states, raising more than $17 million for people in crisis and for the environment. The organization stresses that humanitarian gifts suit every occasion, not just religious holidays.
Outstanding Web Features:
The features urgent needs, and the Web site supplies a , current through June 2006; ; a for someone in need; the latest ; a ; and . It also explains how to an alternative gift market. All pages beyond the homepage contain a searchable list of projects by category.