Choose A Gift That Gives Back
Alternative Gift Market Benefits Community Missions
Posted: November 24, 2012
According to Melissa Fretwell, who leads RISE’s mission projects, the organization seeks to “connect with the pain of the world” through its projects. (Photo by Candace Sipos)
The second Alternative Gift Market, put on by RISE, a Harrisonburg-based United Methodist church and campus ministry, will take place Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Attendees will be able to purchase gifts, in honor of loved ones, for missions of their choice.
“We really believe that Jesus would love to have a birthday that is life-giving, versus this materialistic approach that we have [today],” said Melissa Fretwell, who oversees all mission projects at RISE.
The list of organizations represented at the gift market will include three of RISE’s own missions, as well as nine others. The increase from eight to 12 groups was one of RISE’s goals for this year’s event.
The premiere Alternative Gift Market, held at McAlister’s Deli last year, raised roughly $1,000 for the eight organizations, Fretwell said.
But the event begged for a larger downtown space, which RISE has found in Ruby’s Lounge. It was opened, free of charge, for the event.
RISE also hoped to have a greater variety of international, national and local groups for the market, another goal that’s been met, according to Fretwell.
A United Methodist faith community, RISE was borne out of the Wesley Foundation, a campus ministry that served James Madison University for more than 60 years.
When it started under its new name in September 2010, the organization morphed into a congregation that meets on Sundays at Court Square Theater at 10 a.m., while maintaining its status as a campus ministry.
The alternative market is part of RISE’s overall mission to be more outward-oriented than its mother organization was.
“We are much more outward-centered and trying to connect with the community,” Fretwell said. “We’re trying to connect with the pain of the world.”
For more information on the gift market, visit www.riseharrisonburg.com/alternative.
Contact Candace Sipos at 574-6275 or email@example.com