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Sustainable Idaho: The Alternative Gift Market

Priscilla Du Preez

This week, we get into the holiday spirit by highlighting an exciting event coming up in Pocatello where people can buy gifts that support important causes worldwide. The Alternative Gift Market. I interviewed Star Reardon, a lay pastor at the Pocatello First Congregational United Church of Christ, the organizer for this year’s market.

The Alternative Gift Market being Saturday the 13th is part of a larger non-profit organization called Alternative Gifts International. Founded in 1980, the organization offers donors the option to “designate charitable gifts through carefully selected agencies in the name of relatives, friends and associates” for more information and ways to give, visit

In an average year, there are over 70 Alternative Gift Markets organized throughout the United States. Pocatello has hosted a market for the past twenty years.

Alternative Gifts International gives local markets a choice of thirty organizations to feature; this year the Pocatello Alternative Gifts Market includes twelve local and twelve international causes. Many of the causes support sustainability and environmentalism, teaching sustainable farming methods, and planting trees.

Each year, the markets bring in about seven to eight thousand dollars each, with 90% of the money brought in going directly to the organizations. Also at the market will be baked goods and fair trade coffee.

The market is located in the Pocatello First Congregational United Church of Christ at 309 N Garfield Ave. Stop by on Saturday the 13th of November, from 10 to 3 pm.

Katie Kelshaw is a graduate of Boise State University with a Masters of Arts in Political Science where she has since taught as an adjunct professor. She is born and raised in Pocatello, where her family are farmers and business owners. Katie is an active member in an advocacy organization called Action Corps Idaho, where she helps run campaigns around Climate Justice and a Global COVID Response.