Organ pipes in the Sanctuary of First Church in Cambridge. A wrought iron chandelier hangs in the foreground.

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a table filled with spring bulbs and flowers on sale at the Alternative Christmas Fair

Remembering Our Christmas Fair Friends: Their Missions and Their Wares

December 1, 2020

Out of sight in 2020, but not out of mind! The organizations that we support at Christmastime, by buying their products at our annual Alternative Christmas Fair, need our help this year as much as ever. Even though you will not be greeting them in person at a merry hubbub in MJH, you can order some goods, or make donations, at their websites. Look for the “Shop” or “Shop Now” and the “Give” or “Donate” tabs on the websites below. International orders probably won’t arrive in time for Christmas gifting to others, but if you see something you like, why not gift yourself and your household? And donations are easy and always received with gratitude.

  1. Zienzele Foundation
    Mission: To promote self-reliance for poor women and children in Zimbabwe, and educational assistance to orphans, through small enterprise.
    Products: Traditional Zimbabwean hand-woven baskets in an array of designs, colors and sizes.
  2. Healthy Tomorrow
    Mission: To eradicate excision (FGM) of young girls in Mali, through public education, legal campaigns, village meetings, and media.
    Donations only, but visit the website for short videos and musical offerings.
  3. Heifer Project International
    Mission:  to move small-scale farmers in Africa from subsistence to sustainability through financial investment, and connection to training, technology, and markets. Check out the livestockprogram: Give a struggling farm family a goat, alpaca, sheep, a flock of chicks, or a heifer!
    Colorful “Honor cards” mailed when you donate in someone’s name.  
  4. Solutions at Work
    Mission: To break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, providing resources and opportunities to strengthen self-confidence, achieve self-sufficiency, and help others. A Children’s Clothing Exchange; professional attire for job-training and re-entry program; connections to job training, and workshops for self-empowerment.
  5. LGBT Asylum Task Force
    Mission: To provide housing, financial aid, and empowerment, for LGBT individuals seeking asylum in the U.S.; education for policy change around the globe.
  6. Canaan Fair Trade
    Mission: To aid Palestinian farmers by supporting Fair Trade of olive oil products in global markets.
    Products: All-natural plain and flavored olive oils and olive spreads.
  7. Red Winds Councils
    Mission: To support the spiritual renewal and social justice struggle of Mayan indigenous people.
    Products: Authentic hand-made textiles, clothing, accessories, décor, jewelry, medicine pouches, masks, carvings, and more.
  8. A Thread of Hope
    Mission: To support Mayan families, improve their living standards, preserve cultural traditions, and foster women’s leadership through Fair Trade relationships.Products: Loom-woven fabrics, shawls, faith-based items, ornaments, beadwork, masks, ponchos, booties, dolls, playsets, and more.
  9. Muddy River Herbals
    Mission: To use and promote ecologically sound methods of growing healing herbs and botanicals in Eastern New England.
    Products:  culinary, healing, bird-friendly, pollinator-friendly, personal care and native plants and seeds. Online classes.