November 23, 2012
Shoppers pulled out their wallets to give back to the community at the Alternative Gift Fair. Instead of buying items, shoppers made donations to their favorite charities.
Evie Safrank decided to support The Haven, making the donation out in the names of volunteers there. "I'm so impressed by the work they do there so I wanted to honor them today," Safrank said.
Dozens of area charities participated in the first annual Alternative Gift Fair at The Paramount in Charlottesville. Organizations like the S.P.C.A., Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, and Habitat for Humanity took part.
"You walk in here and you give, but you don't take away," said Halsey Blake-Scott. "You're giving back to the community."
Blake-Scott represented the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity and said the need for affordable housing in Charlottesville is greater than ever. "The need is at an all time high and we are stepping up to meet that need as best we can."
Organizers with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank say food manufacturers are donating less because they are making food more efficiently, meaning the food bank relies more heavily on private donations.
"The need for funding is unprecedented," Blake-Scott said. "We cannot do this without the help of the community."