Since 1996, the Annual Christmas Market has lifted individuals and families in need through the giving spirit of our shoppers. Market visitors are invited to wander from booth to booth where they are introduced to nonprofit organizations. Representatives eagerly wait to explain the important and necessary services their agency provides around our community and beyond. Christmas Market guests learn how far nonprofits can stretch every donation dollar they raise. The participating organizations appreciate the rare opportunity to be together in one place for a whole morning, so they can network and collaborate on how to better serve their clients. Our Market shoppers leave uplifted by the good works nonprofits are busy doing. As an added bonus, each nonprofit helps stock our Cookie Room, which fills the air with the sweet aromas of holiday sweets. It is in this warm holiday spirit that guests find missions which are personally meaningful and give their chosen nonprofits a gift of love via a charitable donation. One hundred percent of all donations go to the organization(s) selected by Market supporters. For over twenty years, countless lives have been changed by the opportunities realized – and the over $210,000 raised – at the Christmas Market. That has been the beauty of the Annual Christmas Market every year… until 2020. While, in some ways life seemed to shift into slow motion, the reality remained that human suffering and the struggles people face (even in our community) never waned, but actually grew. All plans changed as a result of the pandemic. Kirkwood determined to share hope and lift communities one dollar at a time by hosting a Virtual Christmas Market in this unique year! And nonprofit organizations anxiously partnered with us in hopes of raising crucial operational dollars. Kirkwood’s Virtual Christmas Market will run from November 14 – 21, and will feature thirty local, national and international nonprofits. Together, we can build a stronger community that helps each other step into hope together!
The 2020 Christmas Market participants are:
Anchor House Inc. ▪ Beth-El Farmworker Ministry ▪ Cedarkirk Camp & Conference Center ▪ Face Autism ▪ Feeding Empty Little Tummies ▪ Foundation for Dreams and Dream Oaks Camp ▪ Harvest House ▪ Heifer International ▪ Hope 4 Communities ▪ HOPE Family Services ▪ Hope Seeds International ▪ J316 Ministries ▪ Learn To Fish Recovery ▪ Manasota Operation Troop Support ▪ Manatee County Habitat for Humanity ▪ Manatee Literacy Council ▪ Manatee Sunrise Kiwanis Foundation Inc. ▪ My Choice Pregnancy Center ▪ Parenting Matters ▪ Project HEART ▪ Samaritan Counseling Services of the Gulf Coast Inc. ▪ Selah Freedom ▪ SOLVE Maternity Homes ▪ Suncoast Youth for Christ ▪ The Haven ▪ The Humane Society of Manatee County ▪ The Salvation Army ▪ Tidewell Foundation ▪ Turning Points ▪ Women's Resource Center.