Moscow’s Sandra Kelly was blown away by local residents’ generosity the first time she attended the Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse.
“Talk about Christmas spirit,” said Kelly, now a member of the market’s leadership team. “I really felt that there that first time. I was like, ‘holy cow, this is amazing.’ ”
The market’s goal is “to give residents of the Palouse meaningful alternatives to holiday gift giving and opportunities to support local nonprofits,” according to its website.
Thirty-two nonprofit organizations will accept donations at the 11th annual AGMP from 5-8 p.m. Thursday at the 1912 Center in Moscow. Residents can also choose to donate online at agmpalouse.org until Dec. 14.
Cash, checks and debit and credit cards will be accepted Thursday, and donations can be made in the amount of $5 or more.
“I was so humbled by the people that come out and the amount of money they spend supporting their local nonprofits because I really feel like our nonprofits are filling a niche in society that isn’t filled by the corporate world, and it’s just amazing to me to watch Moscow come out and support,” Kelly said of the event, which is held on the first Thursday of December.
Kelly said many people spend money on Christmas gifts their loved ones do not really need, but donating to a nonprofit goes a long way.
“We also really like to highlight it as giving with a purpose,” she said.
Kelly said the AGMP is an opportunity to give money in an individual’s name who loves animals, for example, to the Humane Society of the Palouse. Donors can also choose a holiday card at the event or online from the nonprofit in which they donated to give to a loved one.
Kelly said Thursday’s event is the only fundraiser of the year for some nonprofits.
“It’s significant for all of us,” she said. “For some, it’s all that they do.”
For the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute, where Kelly is the office manger, donated money will go to PCEI’s educational programs.
Humane Society of the Palouse Executive Director Tara Wimer said the organization typically uses the donated funds from the market for operating costs. But this year, she said, she believes a majority of the money will go toward a new air conditioner for its dog kennel area.
She said the cooling system quit working in August, and the electrical upgrades needed for the building prior to the installation of the air conditioner and the purchase and installation of the system will cost almost $7,000.
Wimer said she hopes to have it installed well before the heat hits the Palouse next year.
The AGMP is extremely significant for HSoP as it is its second or third largest fundraiser of the year, Wimer said. She said there is little overhead cost for the fundraiser so almost all the donated money will go toward the society’s needs.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.