The Alternative Gift Market on Cape Cod was introduced by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Falmouth in 2007 at their meetinghouse on Sandwich Road. In 2008, the Falmouth Jewish Congregation and St. Barnabas Episcopal Church joined the effort as sponsoring congregations. Since then, the two-day weekend gift market has been held every November at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church on the village green in Falmouth.
The mission of an alternative gift market is to encourage shoppers to give gifts to local and international charitable organizations during the holiday giving season. Really, the gift gives twice. First, it gives honor to a person you care about and, second, it gives money to a worthy cause to help fulfill its mission.
The Alternative Gift Market has experienced tremendous growth over the years. Today, there are seven sponsoring congregations and an additional seven supporting congregations. The money raised each year has grown steadily as well. The first AGM raised $17,000 for local and international charities; in recent years the annual proceeds have averaged over $40,000. One hundred percent of these funds went to organizations dedicated to helping people in need or protecting the environment here on Cape Cod, in the US or elsewhere in the world.
The AGM is truly an ecumenical community event. Shoppers return year after year to make donations at holiday time to nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to making the world a better place. For two years we were only an online market but this year, since Covid has abated, we are both online and in person once again. Hunger, homelessness, illness, and exploitation have not abated: AGM offers people away to help others in need.
Before you shop at this year’s online AGM, take a look at the pictures in the photo gallery to discover or remember what the annual in-person gift market looks like. We hope that you will to shop in-person at the 2022 AGM.
Pictured above: Christine Michelson and Jane Jackson, co-founders of AGM Cape Cod
Alternative Gifts International is a non-profit organization which inspires support for humanitarian and environmental causes. AGI was incorporated in 1986 and is available on-line. Like AGM Cape Cod, AGI offers donors the option to designate charitable gifts through carefully selected agencies in the name of their relatives, friends and associates.
AGI was the model for AGM Cape Cod. Unlike AGI the charities offered by AGM Cape Cod are selected by Cape Codders and always include charities located on Cape Cod.