2021 Alternative Gift Market

Alternative Gift Market logo

UPDATE: The 2021 Alternative Gift Market is closed. Thanks to all who participated!

The 2021 (Virtual) Alternative Gift Market for First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh starts Dec. 5 and continues through Jan. 2, 2022. The Alternative Gift Market continues our tradition of featuring selected charities to be beneficiaries of your financial support this holiday season as an alternative to more traditional gifts to family and friends. This year we are featuring four charities for you to consider:

They all serve people in need in ways that are consistent with our Unitarian Universalist values.

If possible, donate by credit card using the form at right.

However, you may also donate by check by downloading/completing a cover sheet and mailing to First UU, noting AGM 2021 in the check legend and indicating the charity(ies) to whom you are making a donation. (Mail to: First UU, 605 Morewood Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15213.)

Reading Ready Pittsburgh

Reading Ready Pittsburgh Logo

Reading Ready Pittsburgh, founded and directed by Mary Denison, a First Church member, partners with local underserved communities to support the healthy development of young children by increasing access to books and encouraging family engagement through reading.

Our programs include book gifting, book bag rotations, recycling of gently used books, and building small “Family Read, Learn and Play” centers in laundromats located in low income neighborhoods. More information can be found on our website.

A donation to support the delivery of 12 books to one child’s home by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for one year would be $25/year or for $100/year you can pay for Dolly’s books to be delivered to four children! Every child deserves a full book shelf!

Khasi Hills in Kharang, India

Khasi Hills School logo

First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh has been supporting the Annie Margaret Barr Secondary School in Kharang in the poor, rural Khasi Hills of India since 2003.

Our goal has been to support two additional teachers that that have been needed following the inauguration of our new Higher Secondary School in June 2016.  This school enables students to complete high school locally rather than traveling to the state capital.

The project yearly goal is to raise $9,600; $4,800 unbelievably covers one teacher’s salary for a full year. Since the pandemic, the Alternative Gift Market has been an even more important source of funds than past years. A gift of $25 supports a full day of a teacher’s salary, and $500 supports a full month. In the past an average contribution has been $50.  Support for our school in any amount is greatly appreciated! Khublei!

Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light

PA Interfaith Power & Light logo

Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light (PA IPL) is a community of congregations, faith-based organizations, and individuals of faith responding to climate change as an ethical and moral issue, through advocacy, education, energy conservation, energy efficiency, stewardship, and the use and promotion of clean, renewable energy. PA IPL started a Pittsburgh chapter this year to better focus on our region.  First Church congregants Barbara Litt and Bob Mitchell are members.

As part of its Creation Care mission, PA IPL is partnering with The Pittsburgh Blueberry Project.

The Pittsburgh Blueberry Project logo

The Blueberry Project plants high top blueberry bushes in dense, urban locations that cannot accommodate trees.

Blueberry bushes increase green space, reduce blight, increase human interaction with nature, help to reduce the heat island effect, and retain storm water on-site — as well as providing nutritious food for families and neighborhood nonprofits.

A contribution of $10 will pay for a blueberry shrub along with soil testing, tree tubes, and organic material for planting it in a Climate Justice Community in our region.

PA IPL’s goal is to raise enough funding to cover half the cost of purchasing and planting 500 high top blueberry bushes. This would provide each of 500 households with a connection to nature and up to 20 pounds of fresh, nutritional blueberries per season. 

JFCS Refugee & Immigrant Services

JFCS logo

JFCS Refugee & Immigrant Services helps newcomers successfully build their lives in the United States. We work to resettle new refugees, providing for their basic needs and helping them integrate into our community and workforce. We also offer support to all immigrants in the region by connecting them to critical resources to build self-sufficiency. With your support, we can continue to help over 3,000 refugees and immigrants make Pittsburgh their home.

Thank you for your generosity. If you have any questions about the AGM, please email Karen Burns, burnskaren00 (at) gmail.com.