Lawrence University Giving Fair Offers Gifts of Hope, Empowerment

APPLETON, WIS. — The refrain “tis better to give than receive” will never ring more true than this weekend when holiday shoppers will be able to purchase life-changing gifts on the Lawrence University campus.

The second annual Alternative Giving Fair will be held Saturday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Riverview Lounge of the Lawrence Memorial Union. The fair is sponsored by the campus organization Students’ War Against Hunger and Poverty (SWAHP).

The fair will feature a wide variety of tangible items such as embroidered pillows and baskets, jewelry, ornaments, scarves and other items, all hand-crafted by people in developing countries of the world. Ninety percent of the proceeds from the sale of gifts will be returned directly to the artisan responsible for creating it.

“Alternative” gifts focused on local, national and international humanitarian projects also will be available for purchase. These gifts, ranging from tree seedlings for Haiti to dental care for African refugees, support social, economic and environmental progress in developing regions of the world.

Shoppers will have opportunities to honor family and friends by purchasing alternative gifts for a variety of worldwide programs that are supporting causes for children, improved health, literacy, education, and the environment, among others. People buying alternative gifts will be given cards they can send to the person whom they are recognizing, informing them an alternative present was purchased in their honor.

“The Alternative Giving Fair is an opportunity for people to do their holiday shopping while giving to those in need around the world,” said Casey Sautter ’09, co-president of SWAHP. “By purchasing alternative gifts, people are are not only providing funding for much needed causes, but they are giving someone the gift of hope.”

The fair also will feature live music performed throughout the day by Lawrence students and refreshments will be available. Last year’s first alternative giving fair raised more than $10,600 for more than 40 causes and organizations around the world.