AGM

North Decatur Presbyterian Church’s Alternative Gift Market Goes Virtual for 2020

 

Every Advent Season, NDPC provides its members and neighbors with opportunities to shop and donate in line with their values. This year is no different—but we’re going virtual!

The annual Alternative Gift Market of North Decatur Presbyterian Church is going virtual for 2020. Purchase gifts from around the world from the convenience and safety of your own home by shopping online, directly from the websites of selected local and global vendors and wonderful humanitarian organizations. The “12 Days of Gifting” will run from November 18th to November 30th as NDPC highlights vendors and charities that our shoppers have come to love and support at our regular holiday market. Through the NDPC website and social media, we will provide information about, and direct web links to, vendors selling fair trade, environmentally-sustainable and reasonably-priced holiday gifts that create positive change for refugees or disenfranchised populations.

For truly one-of-a-kind gifts, one can purchase items from Africa, Latin America, Asia, South America and the Middle East, as well as local products from emerging social entrepreneurs. NDPC also will provide links to websites where you can make donations in honor of or in memory of loved ones, such as buying cows through the Heifer Project, providing legal defense for detainees through El Refugio, supporting the Haiti EcoVillage School or sending a child to Peacemakers Camp. 

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Wednesday, November 18  

Amani Women’s Center     Peacebuilders Camp


 

 

 

 

 

 

Amani Women’s Center

In 2005, while working as a public health professional in the Clarkston community, Doris Mukangu saw a major need among the underserved African women refugees and she decided to do something about it. She started with health education, helping refugees navigate the daunting health system and gradually adding other services and programs such as the Amani Sewing Academy. Amani Women’s Center (AWC) educates and empowers both refugee and immigrant African communities in Clarkston. Amani’s global initiative includes artisans and partners in West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, and South Africa.

Peacebuilders Camp

In Americus, Georgia Koinonia Farm’s most prominent effort for young people these days is Peacebuilders Camp. Summer camps have been a big part of our history and this one combines our love for children and our commitment to peace. Every July, young people, ages 11 to 14, from a diversity of backgrounds and geographical locations gather for a residential camp to learn about peace. Using the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights, stories from peacemakers of the past and the present, and their own experience, campers grow in their understanding of peace and justice in their own lives and in the world around them. They also have a lot of fun playing, living on the farm, and going on field trips.

Thursday, November 19   

Heart for Africa                  Inspire afterschool

Heart for Africa

Working alongside churches in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Heart for Africa is providing care and hope for a future for children in this small African nation. Through short term service trips, child sponsorship, and large fundraising programs, they are working to deliver quality care, shelter, food, water, clothing, health care, and education to the orphaned and vulnerable children of Eswatini. Heart for Africa is developing a place of hope in Eswatini called Project Canaan. Project Canaan is a 2,500 acre large-scale land development project bringing expertise, resources and hearts together to find a holistic solution to a complex set of issues. It is providing training and employment, growing large amounts of food to stimulate the local economy and allowing for export of products while supporting orphans and vulnerable children on the property and across the nation.

Inspire Afterschool

Inspire is a direct response to the needs of refugee and immigrant youth in the Clarkston community and is an outreach ministry of Shalom International Ministry. Many refugee and immigrant youth in Clarkston have experienced little or interrupted formal education.  As English Language Learners, they face the challenge of adjusting to middle school while also navigating a new educational system, a new language, and a new cultural context.

Friday, November 20 

Refuge Coffee Company   Refugee Sewing Society

Refuge Coffee Company 

Like many refugees, Ali Mohammed had never known a life without war. His homeland, Sudan, was at war when he was born and is still at war. If you’ve met Ali at Refuge, you know he has an easy smile, that he speaks softly and articulately, and that he makes a mean latte. He doesn’t really remember Sudan. His family fled to Ethiopia when he was small as the war ebbed and flowed. Ali, his mom, sister, and two brothers jumped at the once-in-a-lifetime chance to come to the U.S. as refugees. Ali is the sole provider for his family. His first job was on a packing line at a factory almost two hours from Clarkston. One day, Ali stopped by Refuge for coffee with his work carpool. Then he began coming regularly. He found people who spoke his language and people who would stop to listen to him practice his English. He says he “was praying all the day” when the manager mentioned that Refuge was hiring. Today, Ali’s command of the English language is remarkable after just four months. He absorbs the job training curriculum like a sponge and takes his lessons home to teach the rest of his family. He says he loves the way he learns here, where no one “teaches by force.” He dreams of getting his GED, of citizenship, and of pursuing a career in civil service here so he can “serve the country that helped us a lot.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refugee Sewing Society

The Refugee Sewing Society is a faith-based Christian non-profit that serves refugee women from around the world who find themselves starting a new life in America. Our desire is to provide a safe, welcoming place where they can thrive as they build relationships and begin to rebuild their lives; where they can gather to create beautiful handmade items; and where they are supported by receiving training which helps them earn a supplemental income.

Volunteer, host a pop-up shopping experience,  or shop our one-of-a-kind creations!

Saturday, November 21 

Sunavworld           Our House & DCM

 

 

 

Sunavworld

Sunavworld, LLC is an Atlanta-based social enterprise with the mission of promoting sustainable, fairly-traded local and global gifts for the socio-economic empowerment of artists and artisans, especially women. Their products are high quality, traditional, art-based gifts and are made out of natural, sustainable, raw materials. Sunavworld works with three fair trade micro-enterprises in Nepal and is supporting employment to hundreds of artisans. All of them are promoting social justice through women’s economic empowerment by teaching weaving and sewing skills to rural women, refugee women, and women in shelters fleeing domestic and gender-based abuse.  

 

Our House

Our House is on a mission to end the cycle of homelessness for families. They provide shelter for families experiencing homelessness to live. They provide education for children experiencing homelessness to thrive. Their interrelated programs address the root causes of homelessness and ensure every family that leaves Our House has the tools needed to achieve lasting self-sufficiency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decatur Cooperative Ministry

Imagine if you didn’t know where you would sleep tonight…where your children sleep? Would you be safe? Warm? Dry? And how can you plan for your future when life is a daily struggle to survive? Decatur Cooperative Ministry (DCM) is a sanctuary for weary minds and bodies and a safe place to find solutions with the help of caring professionals.

Imagine if you had no home to safely isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic? Where would you home school your child with no “home”? Decatur Cooperative Ministry (DCM) offers a safe place to quarantine and find family housing at Hagar’s House. There, computers are available for school studies, arranged in socially distanced “learning pods.” Parents have case management support to help with their child’s education, as well as resources to find housing stability. In this fragile, chaotic world, I consider it a sacred act to support DCM’s ministry.

The staff at Decatur Cooperative Ministry are truly doing God’s work. In the midst of a pandemic, with a budget stretched tight, and the needs of the furloughed, jobless and evicted residents of DeKalb at crisis level, DCM offers a calm, loving place of solutions. Case managers become childcare workers and tutors, as well as guides for parents seeking financial and housing stability. DCM’s ministry needs our support now more than ever.

A homeless woman, dying of cancer, with her two little girls. A victim of domestic abuse whose broken bones and homelessness prevent her from caring for and educating her children. Families without home or income due to COVID-19, who can’t afford testing or housing. These are the people that Decatur Cooperative Ministry serves. I feel like I make a difference when I give to DCM. My time and my dollars are always valued, always put to good use. The impact is immediate. In this fragile, chaotic world, I consider it a sacred act to support DCM’s ministry. 

Contributed by Susan Cornutt Volunteer and Community Ministry member.

Sunday, November 22   

Sweet, Sweet Syria    Memorial Drive Ministries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Sweet Syria 

In July 2016, Khaled, Ruwaida, and their two children were Syrian refugees resettling in Atlanta. Less than a year later, with a single-family heirloom, they launched Sweet, Sweet Syria. When they fled Syria, the family took whatever small pieces of their life they could carry. Ruwaida made sure to take her cookie mold — the one her grandmother and mother used to teach her how to bake mamool, traditional Syrian cookies. Now, the entrepreneurial husband and wife duo are embracing the opportunities life in America offers and starting a business with the carved piece of wood that has seen them through births, deaths, celebrations, and war. Through traditional Syrian baked goods, they hope to share a side of Syria that most Americans won’t get to experience — one that is warm, generous, and so very sweet. Orders are available through:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Drive Ministries

MDM’s mission is to provide a safe, welcoming and affordable space where organizations that serve those in the greater Clarkston and Stone Mountain area can meet, collaborate, thrive and build community. Leveraging the community trust, location, and campus of the historic Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church (MDPC), Memorial Drive Ministries convenes critical leadership, organization, and a wide network of loving neighbors to create a new expression of God’s Beloved Community.

Monday, November 23 

Just Bakery        Shalom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Bakery Atlanta 

A message from Leah Lonsbury, Founder and Executive Director: 

We’re doing mostly contactless deliveries and neighborhood pick-ups at the moment. Support paid job training and living wage work for those baking fresh goods with ingredients sourced locally and sustainably. Just Bakery of Atlanta provides paid job training, professional certification, and living wage work in partnership with our neighbors who were resettled as refugees. We bake with local and sustainable ingredients whenever possible and sell our baked goods in a variety of settings throughout the Atlanta metro area. All these efforts support our commitment to creating a more diverse, connected, and compassionate community for all.

Pre-order these special treats for your family this Thanksgiving! Follow our link to online shopping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shalom International Ministry

SEEK THE SHALOM OF THE COMMUNITY. FOR IT IS IN ITS SHALOM THAT YOU WILL FIND YOUR SHALOM. Jeremiah 29:7

Shalom is a multicultural worshipping community of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. Located in Clarkston in the most diverse square mile of the United States, Shalom promotes the welfare and development of its members, neighbors, and the thriving of its community through weekly worship, Youth programs, Adult Bible study, and education programs. Enjoy virtual worship, weekly online middle school tutoring, or volunteer to distribute food to refugee and immigrant neighbors. With your help, Shalom youth have attended the Montreat Youth Conference for their 5th year! Members now guide worship, music, and theatre programs.

Tuesday, November 24

Noonday Collection    CEDEPCA/Casa Materna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOONDAY Collection

To make a difference in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities, Noonday Collection partners with Artisan Businesses that share our passion for building a flourishing world. We develop these businesses through fair trade, empowering them to grow sustainably and to create dignified jobs for people who need them. As both a Fair Trade Certified business and a Certified B Corp, you will feel very good about your purchases – and you will love the pieces, too! Best of all in this gift-giving season, each item arrives wrapped, with a tag that describes where it was made and why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CEDEPCA 

From its inception, CEDEPCA has been committed to having an impact on women in Central America and Mexico by offering educational, biblical, and theological experiences grounded in feminist perspectives. Faith-based activities emphasize developing equal relationships in women’s daily lives and are designed to empower women to understand and assume their personal and legal rights, to take leadership roles in their churches and communities, and to continue or begin their formal education. The Women’s Ministry works with women in the church, community and church leaders, and expectant mothers at the Casa Materna in Cahabón.

Wednesday, November 25

Peace of Thread                Haiti Ecovillage

 

Peace of Thread

Handmade quality-recycled fabrics-unique design!

The artists of this local Clarkston not-for-profit organization are empowered women who have come to the United States seeking refuge from war, persecution, and poverty in order to make new lives for themselves and their families. You may donate directly to these craftswomen by texting the word “TIP” to 678-292-4262

To shop their beautiful products, visit:

 

Haiti EcoVillage School

Give the Gift of Learning!

The Haiti EcoVillage School is a project sponsored by 3 local Presbyterian churches to bring education to a community of refugees from the Haitian earthquake. In collaboration with our Haitian partners, the school has been built and operated since 2014. Without our school, 300 children in rural Haiti would be without a place to learn.  Visit https://www.haitiecovillageschool.org to meet the people, learn about the school and see videos that tell the story. In the past, many have given donations to the school as a Christmas gift to a child, a teacher or a friend.  Provide an address and we will send a card(s) to you or to the person you are gifting. Inscribed on the card is 

The Gift of Learning

To honor you a donation in your name has been given to the Haiti EcoVillage School.

Thursday, November 26   

Happy Thanksgiving

No Market Today

 

 

Friday, November 27

Re:loom            El Refugio

 

RE:LOOM

re:loom is a program of Initiative for Affordable Housing (IAH), a nonprofit organization in Decatur, Georgia. IAH’s mission is to provide permanent, affordable housing to homeless and low-income families in metro Atlanta. re:loom grew naturally from IAH’s work with adults who struggled to secure and maintain jobs. The program helps individuals address obstacles to employment through paid on-site job training and leadership opportunities. Weavers design and produce handmade products and lead a team of weavehouse volunteers. Shop re:loom’s beautiful rugs and gifts here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

El Refugio 

El Refugio was founded in 2010, in support of immigrants detained at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, GA.  El Refugio organizes visitation groups to Stewart, hosts families of those detained, provides support for those released and educates for an end to immigration detention. During the pandemic, this organization has had to make adjustments in how it supports immigrants and their families. When unable to support families with housing and visitation, El Refugio has continued to provide compassionate and material support and assistance to immigrants. Donations help make their work possible; donate here.

Small Business Saturday

On this unusual Small Business Saturday you still can support small, socially, and environmentally responsible companies through online shopping. Today we feature one “brick and mortar” Fairtrade shop, Crossroads, and the two oldest Fairtrade vendors in the U.S.: SERRV and 10,000 Villages.

Saturday, November 28

Crossroads, SERRV, 10,000 Villages and Lost ‘n’ Found Youth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossroads

Crossroads began as a small organization committed to providing positive, tangible support for people trying to support themselves through the creation of handcrafts. Today the nonprofit, volunteer-staffed shop is part of a growing international effort to develop alternative, sustainable, fair trade initiatives based on justice and cooperation. Crossroads sells unique fair trade crafts, coffee, and food items that enable historically marginalized artisans and farmers to provide for themselves and their families. Andes Gifts enthusiasts can find some of those beautiful and soft alpaca products here. Shop Crossroads online for a variety of Fairtrade gifts!

SERRV

One of the first Fair Trade organizations in the world, SERRV International began its mission by helping displaced European refugees trade their handcrafts for income after the Second World War. Since then, it has extended its reach to 24 countries worldwide, working to empower over 8,000 artisans and farmers every year by selling their beautiful handcrafts. With the support of consumers, SERRV continues to combat global poverty and work to help artisans and farmers build better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. Shop a wide variety of Fairtrade gifts here.

Ten Thousand Villages

Like SERRV, Ten Thousand Villages (originally Self Help Crafts) was a pioneer in Fairtrade as an alternative business model. Today, Ten Thousand Villages describes itself as a global maker‑to‑market movement that breaks the cycle of generational poverty and ignites social change. As a pioneer of fair trade, Ten Thousand Villages commits to putting people and planet first, so that consumers can trust that every handmade purchase and donation directly impacts the life and community of its maker in the Global South. Shop a wide variety of fairly traded household goods and gifts here.

Lost-n-Found Youth

Lost-n-Found Youth is an Atlanta nonprofit that works with communities to end homelessness for LGBTQ youth by providing food, shelter and life stabilization services. Lost-n-Found was started by a group of activists who were turned away when attempting to place queer youth into local shelters and youth aid programs. They resolved that something needed to be done to address the immediate need and are working toward a world where all youth can live and grow authentically. Tax-deductible donations may be made here.

Sunday, November 29

EE & Deans Beans      Initiative for Affordable Housing

 

Equal Exchange and Deans Beans Organic Coffee

Love great coffee, cocoa, and chocolate? Choose fair trade and organic certified options and you can have it all—delicious hot drinks and some of the world’s tastiest chocolate along with fair and sustainable production methods that support community-based sustainable development throughout the Global South.

Founded in 1986, the founders of Equal Exchange (EE) determined to create a business model with a social vision, using Fair Trade certification to “empower consumers to make purchases that support their values.” In later years EE added hot cocoa mix, teas, and chocolate to its Fair Trade offerings. Shop Equal Exchange here.

More delicious, Fair Trade, organic (and certified bird-friendly!) coffee, sugar, cocoa, and chocolate is available through Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee. Dean Cycon founded this “B Corporation” in 1993 to “prove that a for-profit business could create meaningful change through ethical business practices rooted in respect for the earth, the farmer, our co-workers and the consumer.” NDPC members have been purchasing their “morning Joe” through Dean’s for 15 years, through a wholesale buying group. Read about the farmers and farming groups Dean works with here, and shop online here.  (Photo caption: Dean Cycon meets with coffee growers in Sumatra. Photo used with permission from Dean’s Beans. )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initiative for Affordable Housing

For 30 years, Initiative for Affordable Housing, Inc. has been providing permanent affordable housing to homeless and low-income families. A nonprofit organization, Initiative supports families that have experienced extended periods of housing insecurity, providing individualized social services and employment to empower families to reach personal goals and achieve independence. Families receive family-appropriate housing in community apartment complexes, furniture and housewares to establish their homes, and financial assistance to meet basic needs for the duration of the program. Families make a commitment to work diligently with social work staff to address their barriers to success, and Initiative commits to support them long-term–through accomplishments as well as setbacks. Donate here.

Monday, November 30

Fair Trade Federation     Joining Hands for Palestine

 

Fair Trade Federation

Did you know that you don’t have to wait for the holidays to “shop your values”? With a huge range of certified Fair Trade products available online, it is getting easier to find everyday products that align with your values. In addition to the terrific vendors we have highlighted throughout this 12 Days of Gifting, try visiting the Fair Trade Federation’s Website for more great ideas. The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is a trade association of fair trade enterprises fully committed to equitable and sustainable trading partnerships. FTF seeks to strengthen and grow the “global movement of trade that values the health of the planet, and the labor, dignity, and equality of all people.”

Shop Fair Trade online through the FTF Website: https://www.fairtradefederation.org/browse-ftf-members/shop-online/

 

Joining Hands For Justice in Palestine and Israel

Joining Hands for Justice in Palestine and Israel (JHJPI) works to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land through education, advocacy, and building relationships. JHJPI is a 501 (c) 3 organization and is in partnership with the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, PC(USA).

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Additional Participating Charities

 

Women’s Bean Project

Women’s Bean Project is a Colorado organization with the mission to change women’s lives by providing stepping stones to self-sufficiency through social enterprise. They believe that all women have the power to transform their lives through employment. So they hire women who are chronically unemployed and we teach them to work by making nourishing products. One employee is a native of Denver and has a 14 year-old son that she supports by herself. She was working in home health care but lost her job after becoming homeless and having her car break down. She learned about Women’s Bean Project and became an employee there. She says, “I needed to start over and get myself back on track and I have really received help putting my goals in order. Women’s Bean Project has built up my confidence by giving me so many helpful classes.”

 

Refugee Women’s Network

Refugee Women’s Network inspires and equips refugee and immigrant women to become leaders in their homes, businesses, and communities serving refugees resettled in Georgia. RWN inspires and equips refugee and immigrant women to become leaders in their homes, businesses, and communities. For more than 20 years, they have continued to be the only organization in Georgia that specifically serves refugee women. 

In 2012, Tila relocated to the United States as a Bhutanese refugee. With limited understanding of the language or the culture, Tila arrived on American soil, determined to rebuild her life. Tila became a client of Refugee Women’s Network (RWN) and then began working as one of RWN’s community outreach workers, helping other victims of war adjust to their new lives in the US. Tila now teaches English as a second language to refugees and immigrants in the Atlanta area. Combining her passion for education and her connection to the cause, Tila is a shining example of what can be accomplished when women are given the resources they need to become leaders in their communities.

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In Collaboration With

Druid Hills Presbyterian Church

Intown Collaborative Ministries‘ mission is to prevent and reverse homelessness and hunger in intown Atlanta. Their homeless outreach program is a four-step process of engagement, enrollment, navigation and housing. Their Food Pantry is open three times a week at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church and is available to anyone experiencing food insecurity. https://intowncm.org/

Mercy Community Church is a grassroots, ecumenical, open and affirming congregation that currently meets at St. John’s Lutheran Church. The church provides a safe, warm shelter and meals to those experiencing homelessness.  http://mercyatl.org/

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Read more about Fair Trade

 

“Shopping Our Values” – Why Alternative Gifting? by Rebecca Watts Hull

My earliest memory of Fair Trade is from November 1974. I was 9 years old (with siblings aged 14, 12, 8, and 4) and I remembering hearing chaos (different from the normal chaos) downstairs. I cautiously ventured toward the noise and found our family dining room table and leaf extensions completed covered in handcrafts from around the world. My mom and several other women from our church had taken over our dining room to tag and organize gifts for Lakewood Presbyterian Church’s first Alternate Christmas Sale. At that time, the sources of Fair Trade “gifts that make a difference” were largely Appalachian cooperatives and global handcrafts distributed by two organizations: Self Help Crafts (whose name was later changed to Ten Thousand Villages) and SERRV.

My mother, Charline Watts, was inspired to start the practice of Alternative Gift Markets at church by the book Alternate Christmas Catalog by Robert Kochtitzky. In fact, the idea was so new (in Cleveland, anyway) that her group traveled around to many churches throughout the metro region during Advent, setting up “pop-up” markets. After five years of this approach (which was a lot of work), in 1979 they founded the One World Shop in Lakewood with seed funding from the Western Reserve Presbytery, a permanent storefront dedicated to helping people “shop with their conscience” (still open today, although a few miles west of the original shop).

 

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AGM Story