Paramount Theater Hosts First Alternative Gift Fair
The Paramount Theater hosted its first-ever Alternative Gift Fair Friday. Black Friday shoppers were able to visit with Charlottesville and Albemarle County nonprofits and gift organizations of their choice.
The Alternative Gift Fair debuted at the Paramount Theater, in hopes of collecting money for those who need it most this holiday season. Shoppers gifted multiple nonprofits all in one place, avoiding driving to multiple organizations in Black Friday traffic.
"It's a central place to get to know the nonprofits of Charlottesville and be able to give back to your community and keep the economy local," said event organizer Clay Eure.
A dozen nonprofits set up shop inside the Paramount Theater, ranging from food and shelter causes to animal support.
Kelly Altizer with the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA said, "Anything that you can think of that involves an animal we have to pay for it, x-rays, just food, treats, liter, anything that goes along with an animal."
Shoppers were able to gift organizations on behalf of loved ones.
Perry Payne Millner with the Paramount Theater said, "One loved one loves literacy, books, whatever, so you can say 'OK Aunt Susan, I'm going to give $50 to the literacy in her name.'"
Whether it was $5 or $100, donations of any amount helped. A $25 gift provided a family with 100 meals this holiday season. The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank serves 26,000 people a month in Charlottesville alone.
"There are so many more people who need food services and help than ever before, five years ago. There are double the number of people who are looking for food assistance," said Cherrill Burk, director of development for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
Friday was the only day you could gift an organization in honor of a friend or family member, but the nonprofits will continue collecting donations all holiday season. Click here for a full list of the nonprofits.