The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Community

December 4, 2012

Gift fair gives holiday shoppers chance to make a difference

Event benefits 20 local nonprofits

ANDERSON, Ind. — Grandma probably doesn’t need a new sweater. And Dad likely doesn’t want a new tie.

Instead, Seasons of Giving Gift Fair organizers hope shoppers will instead give the gift of charity.

Saturday’s gift fair at Mounds Mall gives area residents a chance to support 20 local charities and nonprofits by making a donation that will be matched by Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.

“This is a way to really make your gift matter,” said Pam Shoot, Leadership Academy of Madison County (LAMC) program director. “Donations allow your gift to continue to give. These are organizations that now more than ever need your help. Some are really struggling.”

In years past, Hoosier Park has matched up to $7,500 although this year the match could be as much as $24,000. LAMC coordinates the gift fair that features eight new nonprofits.

Each organization will have a booth with information detailing where donations will go. Those attending the fair will then go to “check out” with LAMC volunteers who will give them certificates for each donation and then take one payment by check, cash or credit card.

Ginger Mills, executive director of the Madison County Literacy Coalition, said those donating to their organization will help purchase workbooks, skill books and dictionaries for adults struggling with reading and books for children.

“It is very important for people to have options for gifts,” she said. “People need to have the opportunity to have ways to reach out and help others.”

Mills said the fair is also a good opportunity to let the community know about its agency and its needs.

“These are gifts you can feel good about giving because you are giving a unique gift to a person without doing anymore than your Christmas shopping,” she said. “But you are also giving a gift to an organization with your support.”

Last year the gift fair raised $16,000 without the match from Hoosier Park.

Laura Market, American Cancer Society community representative, said the gift fair is a “one-stop shopping spot” for someone wanting to give a gift that can really mean something to the community.

“All of the organizations involved do such good things for the community,” she said. “This is a way to make a real difference in your community.”

Find Abbey Doyle on Facebook and @heraldbulletin on Twitter, or call 640-4805.

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