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Vero Beach church offers alternative to mad-dash Christmas shopping

VERO BEACH — One Vero Beach church is offering an alternative to braving the throngs of holiday shoppers on Black Friday – Alternative Gifts International.

Coordinator Bob Lawton, of The Community Church of Vero Beach, said the program could be just want shoppers are looking for in finding a unique gift for that impossible-to-buy-for relative or friend. Instead of spending $20 on a tie the recipient will never wear or $50 on an electronic game the child will play once and toss aside, the gift-giver might better spend money on an Alternative Gifts International gift certificate, according to Lawton.

The alternative allows shoppers to buy either gift cards or directly contribute to internationally needy programs.

Recipients of gift certificates could choose from several such programs in the Alternative Gift Catalog and know that their gift will help children around the world.

Programs range in focus from hunger and education to gender equality, medical services and the environment.

Costs range from $1 for 40 doses of medicine in Burma to $240 for one family in Haiti to participate in a Model Communities project for a year.

Other alternative gifts include providing chickens, fish, goats or fruiting plants and trees to families for food and income, providing transportation for peacekeepers, and providing supplies to build rescue centers.

Community Church of Vero Beach is also working with Haiti Partners by offering an alternative gift catalog as well.

The Haiti Partners catalog, also available at the church’s office, contains six possible gifts ranging in price from $25 to $360. Such gifts include vegetable seeds for school gardening, schools books or supplies for one child, and training materials for 20 teachers.

To learn more about the alternative gift catalogs or to pick one up, visit Community Church of Vero Beach’s main office, located at 1901 23rd Street, or call (772) 562-3633.

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