Alternative Giving at Christmas

Alternative Giving at Christmas

Alternative Giving returns to St. John’s
on December 3 and 4, 2022

Alternative Giving Weekend takes place on December 3 and 4, when volunteers will be on hand to collect donations and answer questions. However, you may donate throughout the month of December.

Christmas cards for your loved ones honored with donations are available at the volunteer table on December 3 and 4.

What is Alternative Giving?

Through Alternative Giving, parishioners honor their loved ones with a meaningful gift: to help the poor and marginalized throughout the world via a donation to a deserving charity.  A specially designed Christmas card will tell your loved one about their gift and the charitable organization.

As alternatives to typical Christmas presents, bought, wrapped, and delivered, these gifts bestow their recipients the unique joys of both receiving and giving, of sharing love and sending hope, of striving to follow the one whose birthday we celebrate at this special time of year.

Through Alternative Giving, St. John’s parishioners have supported charities throughout the world since 2007. Thank you so much for your heartfelt generosity and caring.

Which charities does Alternative Giving support in 2022?

Alternative Giving in 2022 will support the following charities, in Ghana, Haiti, El Salvador, and Tanzania as well as immigrants in the United States:

Challenging Heights rescues children in Ghana, some as young as six, who have been enslaved in the fishing industry on Lake Volta and deprived of health care, food, and education. After rescuing them, Challenging Heights rehabilitates the children and reintegrates them into their home communities.  More information:

Listen to Challenging Heights founder, James Kofi Annan, tell his story.

Immigration Outreach Service Center serves Baltimore’s immigrant community regardless of immigration status, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. IOSC provides rental assistance application support, grocery cards, and sponsors ESOL, financial literacy and computer classes in a safe, secure environment that recognizes the dignity of each individual. IOSC partners with and empowers immigrants to live full, successful lives. More information:

Listen to director, Pat Jones, talk about IOSC efforts.

The Tanzanian Children’s Project, founded in 2009 by the St. John’s Knights of Columbus Columbia Council, raises funds for medical, educational, and water projects in the Ushetu district of the Shinyanga region of Tanzania. TCP, through such works of charity, assists the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara to improve the lives of children and the marginalized in their community. This year, the project is raising money to build a new Catholic High School. More information:

Watch a video about the community supported by TCP.

Los Olivos CIS empowers women in El Salvador to start small businesses and work their way out of poverty. The organization offers training, start-up costs, and staff mentoring for local businesses including embroidery and indigo dyeing, dairy farms, bakeries, and sewing cooperatives. More information:

Watch a video about Los Ovivios, CIS and hear from one of the local women (en Español) about how her life was impacted.

Fonkoze was founded by a Haitian Catholic priest and a group of local grassroots leaders nearly 30 years ago. It is now a family of organizations working together to empower Haitians, primarily rural women, throughout Haiti, with the financial and development tools to break the cycle of poverty. Hundreds of thousands of people have benefited from one or more of Fonkoze’s empowering programs, including thousands of children who have recovered from malnutrition via Fonkoze’s community health program, Boutik Sante. More information:

Watch “Saincia’s Journey Out of Poverty” (Saincia is a client of Fonkoze).

Thank you for your support – you have truly made a difference!

Over the many years of this program, St. John’s parishioners have helped the poor and marginalized in El Salvador, Ghana, Haiti, and Tanzania, as well as immigrants to the United States.  Last year, your generous donations exceeded $15,000, reaching people across the globe improving lives.

Thank you to all the volunteers who have worked so hard to make Alternative Giving at Christmas happen year after year, and thank you to the Knights of Columbus Columbia Council 7559 for continuing this tradition of service for Christmas 2022. Most of all, thanks to all of you for your heartfelt caring and generosity. You are making a difference. 

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