Gifts That Give Hope (GTGH) fair founder Jenn Knepper finds the 30 vendors who take part in the fair each year in a variety of ways. Some are people she has made connections with through friends, church, word-of-mouth, or fair volunteers, while others have found their way to her by hearing about the fair. "We try to have a balance of global and local organizations," said Knepper. This year's fair will be held at the Farm and Home Center, 1282 Arcadia Road, Lancaster, on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Troy Foutz visited the GTGH fair in 2014 and liked what he saw. Foutz is the administrative director of Ghana Initiative, which sends medical teams including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, emergency medical technicians, and other volunteers, to Ghana on a yearly basis. Ghana Initiative was founded by director Seth Pobee after he purchased a transport truck that was renovated to fit the needs of the mission and shipped to Ghana in 2013. "Our goal is to send teams twice a year and eventually have a base over there," said Foutz. Foutz hopes visitors to the Ghana Initiative table at the fair will help provide medical supplies to meet the needs of the people in Ghana or sponsor medical personnel who want to participate in the team visits but do not have the means to go.
Eva Dombrowski, executive director of Clare House, was tipped off about the GTGH fair by one of her board members. "This is the first time we've engaged with GTGH," said Dombrowski. Clare House is a transitional housing facility for homeless women. "We (help families) work toward goals and get themselves back on their feet," said Dombrowski.
Phil Rohrer with Brittany's Hope said that the Elizabethtown-based organization will have a variety of items for fair attendees to sponsor. The purchased items will then be distributed through the organization's holistic orphan care programs in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Vietnam. "We will have bicycles and dental care kits and water storage drums," said Rohrer. Rohrer explained that Brittany's Hope also provides adoption support services for international adoption of children with special needs.
Assets Lancaster, which provides classes for people who want to start their own small business, will have a sponsorship-based display at the fair where attendees may fund a student's enrollment in a class or provide student support for other programs. "We try to work with underserved (individuals in) low-income communities with start-up businesses," said Tina Campbell, director of development with Assets.
Tricia Nabors, director of New Choices Career Development Program, plans to tell fair attendees how they can help fund services for women who benefit from the organization's programs. "We do an educational empowerment workshop five times per year, and we provide scholarship money for women to go back to school, and we assist them in transferring back into the work force," said Nabors, who added that fair attendees who will be able to buy items such as books, uniforms, and portfolio items for clients.
Vanese Dougherty, representing the organization Sari Bari, will bring a variety of products to the fair to sell, including throws, bags, scarves, and other items made from vintage saris using traditional hand stitching. The products are made by 120 women employed in one of four production units located in Calcutta, India. "(Sari Bari) employs victims of human trafficking," explained Dougherty. "Each product is marked with the name of the woman who made it so when you purchase a product you become part of the journey."
Readers who would like to learn more about GTGH may visit http://www.giftsthatgivehope.org/lancaster.