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Hundreds shop the Alternative Gift Fair in Carbondale

Hundreds of shoppers made their way to the Alternative Gift Fair Saturday at the Carbondale Civic Center. 

Instead of businesses selling the items that they make, this gift fair focuses on giving back. 

All of the vendors are non-profit organizations with many of them being local. 

Some of those include the Jackson County Historical society, Friends of Bald Knob Cross, Keep Carbondale Beautiful, Rainbow Cafe and Southern Illinois Aids Coalition. 

Volunteer Jess Jobe considers the event a great way to buy a unique gift while investing into the community. 

"Some of them (vendors) have non-traditional gifts like gift certificates representing the services provided by that agency," she explains. "So that’s really the origins of the gift fair. To reduce consumerism and promote our local non-profits." 

Other non-profits were selling items like jewelry, potted plants, coffee mugs and Christmas ornaments. 

The Alternative Gift Fair started 15 years ago in a church basement and Jobe adds that it continues to grow more and more. 

So if you missed this year’s event, there’s always next year. 


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News 3 Staff

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