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Starting an Alternative Christmas Gift Program . St Francis of Assisi Parish Derwood, MD. Alternative Christmas Gifts. What is an Alternative Christmas Gift? You make a donation to a charity in lieu of giving someone a “store-bought” gift

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starting an alternative christmas gift program

Starting an Alternative Christmas Gift Program

St Francis of Assisi Parish

Derwood, MD

alternative christmas gifts
Alternative Christmas Gifts
  • What is an Alternative Christmas Gift?
    • You make a donation to a charity in lieu of giving someone a “store-bought” gift
    • That donation represents a gift that helps our brothers and sisters in need locally and globally
      • A great example of an Alternative Christmas Gift is Heifer International – where you “buy” a flock of chicks for $20 for a family in a developing world country
      • You get a card to give saying that you bought chicks
      • The family gets the chicks and later on, eggs to sell or trade for income
alternative christmas gift program
Alternative Christmas Gift Program
  • Why Start an Alternative Christmas Gift Program?
    • To provide a way to reduce or replace the secular, commercial celebration of Christmas with a simpler, faith-based celebration
    • To raise money for local and global charities
alternative christmas gift program1
Alternative Christmas Gift Program
  • How does it Work?
    • Gift cards representing services/items provided by participating charities are purchased in lieu of buying a “store-bought” gift
    • Gift cards can be purchased through
      • Direct Card Sales after Masses (Set up a table in your Gathering Space. Parishioners buy the cards and take them home)
      • Catalog Orders (Catalog contains a list of available gifts charities. Parishioners order the cards and card orders are filled and mailed back to them)
steps to starting an alternative gift program
Steps to Starting an Alternative Gift Program
  • Get Everyone On Board
    • Present the idea to have an Alternative Christmas Sale to your Social Concerns Committee
    • Get your Pastor’s Approval
  • Recruit Volunteers
    • Place a notice in the bulletin seeking volunteers to plan, organize, and conduct the Alternative Christmas Sale
steps to starting an alternative gift program1
Steps to Starting an Alternative Gift Program
  • Plan the Sale
    • Schedule a meeting with the Volunteers
      • Decide on what charities to support
      • Set date(s) for the Sale
      • Set a location for the Sale
      • Get your Pastor’s OK for the Sale Dates & Location
  • Contact Your Charities
    • Let them know you’re planning an Alternative Christmas Sale
    • Ask if they would supply gift cards and envelopes (50 is probably a good starting number
steps to starting an alternative gift program2
Steps to Starting an Alternative Gift Program
  • Communications
    • Prepare a Flyer announcing the Sale to be placed in your bulletin
    • Prepare bulletin “blurbs” for the weeks leading up to the sale
    • Prepare talking points and get permission to speak about Alternative Christmas and announce the sale at each of the Masses
    • Work with your Parish admin staff to get the Flyer and the bulletin blurbs posted in the bulletin
steps to starting an alternative gift program3
Steps to Starting an Alternative Gift Program
  • Get the Word Out
    • 1st or 2nd Week in November – Bulletin Blurb describing Alternative Christmas and announcing the Sale
    • 4th Week in November – Flyer appears in bulletin
    • 1st Sunday in Advent – Catalog appears in bulletin
    • Speak at Masses or ask the Priest to read as part of the announcements at Mass
steps to starting an alternative gift program4
Steps to Starting an Alternative Gift Program
  • Conduct the Sale (December)
  • Pre-Sale Activities
    • Create a Display for the Sales Table
    • Set up the Sales Table
    • Line up volunteers to staff the table after all the Masses
  • Conduct the Sale
  • Tally results by Charities
  • Send Checks to Charities
  • Prepare bulletin “blurb” to announce results of Alternative Christmas, thank participants and volunteers
need more info
Need More Info?
  • Take one of our Quick Guides with you
  • Contact us:
    • Charles McCarthy, Social Concerns Director
      • (301) 840-1407 / cmccarthy@sfadw.org
    • Alternative Christmas Program Coordinators
      • Pat O’Connor (301)977-9208 / leafs20879@aol.com
      • Carol Lindsey (240)631-8180 /carlindsey@aol.com