The entire church gets involved as each ministry team ‘adopts’ an animal table to educate the visitors.

If you could have any gift you wished, what would it be? Peace on earth, an end to hunger, clean water, education for a child? These gifts are closer than you might think.

On Sunday, November 4, animals and agricultural items will take over First Presbyterian Church of Brandon at the Heifer Living Gift Market. This alternative gift market will provide an opportunity to ‘purchase’ Heifer animals like pigs, chickens, fish and goats or clean water or tree seedlings as alternatives to commercial holiday gifts.

First Presbyterian’s Fellowship Hall, located at 121 Carver Ave. in Brandon, will come alive from 12 Noon until 2 p.m. Visitors of all ages will enjoy interesting, thought-provoking exhibits, family-oriented entertainment, fun and games, and some unique gift selections, along with the opportunity to help fight hunger, poverty and homelessness.

Patrons can sample a meal of ‘what the world eats’ and have the chance to bid on gift baskets and silent auction items. The Living Market is free and open to the public.

The ‘animals’ and items purchased will be distributed along with education and training provided to help hungry families around the world through Heifer International. Donors receive specially designed honor cards to designate their purchases to send to their loved ones.

Known as ‘Passing on the Gift,’ recipients of Heifer animals share the offspring of their animals, knowledge, resources and skills with others to expand the network of hope and self-reliance that reaches around the globe. It is fundamental to Heifer’s approach to sustainable development.

Dawn Trattner, a member of First Presbyterian and co-chair of the Living Market, has been leading the charge with her sister Terrie Morrison for the past 14 years.

“We will never know exactly how many families First Presbyterian has supported or how many animals were sent because of our local Heifer Market, but we know that we have had a positive effect on the lives of many families and have had fun while doing it,” said Trattner.

For more information, contact the church office at 689-4597 or www.fpcbrandon.org. For more information about Heifer International, refer to the informative website at www.heifer.org.