The Global Holiday Faire is an annual event in Vallejo, California that raises both money and awareness for nonprofit organizations, in our community and around the world. It is organized by members of several local churches, which is why it is referred to as an “ecumenical” event.

The Faire is more than a simple craft faire – it is an “alternative” gift faire in every sense of the word. For example, it offers hundreds of gift items for sale from artisans in developing countries through “fair trade”organizations. Fair trade offers a fair price to artisans, craftsmen, and farmers, particularly in the developing world, and works to improve their living and working conditions.

People who come to the Faire learn about “alternative giving.” Alternative giving involves purchasing an item (maybe a farm animal, or a blanket, or carpentry tools) through a concern agency to be given to someone in need. The giver makes the purchase in honor of a family member or friend as a gift for that person. Thus, one gift actually becomes two – for the recipient of the physical item as well as for the honorary recipient. It’s a perfect gift for the person who has everything!

But for those patrons who want to do more traditional shopping, there are the many tables of jewelry, clothing, religious gift items, Christmas decorations, and other treasures from around the world. The Faire also offers crafts and delicious baked goods from our own community, donated by the people who made them to help organizations in need. With such a wide array of gift items available, it is not an exaggeration to say that people could buy all of their holiday gifts at this event and at the same time feel good in the knowledge that every dollar they spend or contribute will go to a worthy cause.

As people shop, they are entertained by local choirs. Lunch is offered for sale to benefit another nonprofit effort. In total, the Global Holiday Faire provides a fun, festive atmosphere where people come together to raise money for worthy causes. And the community can participate in that spirit of giving simply by coming and doing their holiday shopping at the Faire.