Our Town

Cranbrook preparing for unique gift fair

A group of Cranbrook residents involved in the Gifts That Give Hope fair gathered to launch preparations for the event on Friday, July 11 at Elizabeth Lake. Pictured, clockwise, from left: Patricia Whalen, Children First; Denise Stewart, Women’s Resource Centre; Nancy Zier, Salvation Army; Murray Robertson, Cranbrook firefighter; Mayor Wayne Stetski; and Riley Wilcox, Cranbrook and District Community Foundation.  - Sally MacDonald photo
A group of Cranbrook residents involved in the Gifts That Give Hope fair gathered to launch preparations for the event on Friday, July 11 at Elizabeth Lake. Pictured, clockwise, from left: Patricia Whalen, Children First; Denise Stewart, Women’s Resource Centre; Nancy Zier, Salvation Army; Murray Robertson, Cranbrook firefighter; Mayor Wayne Stetski; and Riley Wilcox, Cranbrook and District Community Foundation.
— image credit: Sally MacDonald photo

Cranbrook will host a Canadian first this November.

The first Gifts That Give Hope alternative gift giving fair was announced on Friday, July 11, and will be held on Saturday, November 15 at Western Financial Place.

It's an initiative by the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation and Children First with support from Jim Pattison Broadcast Group.

A U.S. idea that has never been held in Canada before, Gifts That Give Hope fairs are typically held in public venues.

Christmas shoppers meet and learn about non-profit organizations, make a donation to a cause of their choice in honour of a friend or loved one, and receive an attractive card with a description of their charitable donation.

"The Gifts that Give Hope Fair is a fun way to bypass the annual stress of holiday shopping and accumulation of 'stuff' while honouring friends and relatives with donations to causes that fit their values," said Patricia Whalen, Children First Manager. "What's more, the fair provides critical support for a diverse collection of community organizations whose work has local and regional reach."

Gifts That Give Hope fairs give shoppers the opportunity to choose meaningful gifts for people on their gift list, while helping others who are not on anyone's gift list.

Any local non-profit can now apply to take part in the fair, as long as they fill a need in Cranbrook.

Fairgoers are given a shopping list when they arrive, which tells the shoppers that, for example, for $5, they can purchase a bagged lunch that will be given to a Cranbrook child at school. Then the shopper will be given a gift card that shows that donation, which can be unwrapped at Christmas.

Shopping lists have two categories: adults and children. Families can explore the art of giving together by visiting the many booths. At the central check-out is where all donations are processed and gift cards for your special someone are assembled.

This gift fair offers fun and entertainment as well. There will be a free swim, kids' activities and seasonal craft tables for all to enjoy.

Fairgoers are encouraged to design their own leaves for the Giving Tree. The Giving Tree is a dynamic work of art that allows the community to explore their wishes for a better future together and what giving means to them.

"Gifts That Give Hope is a great way for the Community Foundation to enhance our giving to the community of Cranbrook and District that has been such a great support to us," said Riley Wilcox, CDCF Executive Director.

Non-profits can complete a simple application to become part of the Gifts That Give Hope fair by visiting www.giftsthatgivehope.org and selecting "Find a Fair".

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Community Events, September 2014

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