Assistant News Editor
Justice Coalition is hosting the third annual Advent Market this afternoon, Dec. 7. Organized by student members of Justice Coalition, Wheaton’s Advent Market hosts a variety of vendors, including many local non-profits and ministries.
The market affords students the opportunity to accomplish some early Christmas shopping within the setting of the campus.
Sophomore Alexandra Browne, who serves on Justice Coalition’s executive cabinet, said, “The Advent Market is a way for nonprofits and ministries that students are involved in, or passionate about, to sell local and global artisan crafts to Wheaton’s campus and the local community.”
When asked about the importance of the market to Justice Coalition, Brown said, “Justice Coalition strives to encourage and be a resource to Wheaton’s campus and finds this market an effective way to do so.”
This year’s vendors include ReNew, Kavalena, Growers First Coffee, BLING, Venture Corps International, The Mocha Club and Amani Ya Juu. Together, these vendors will be selling a variety of goods including jewelry, bags, stationary, home goods, clothing, coffee, ornaments and more.
Prices will range from $5 to $60.
Nicole Rienstra, assistant director of student development and coordinator of the Advent Market, helped to get the original market up and running three years ago when some students had the idea to host outside ministries for a Christmas bazaar. Since Wheaton has a policy stating that students cannot fundraise for off-campus groups, Rienstra said she thought that a bazaar would be the perfect opportunity for students to support groups and causes.
“We are so excited to see how Advent Market has grown over the years,” Browne said. “We used to hold the event in Lower Beamer, but because of demand, we have decided to move the event to Coray Gymnasium. It has been so encouraging to me personally to hear people say that Advent Market is their favorite event of the year.”
Over the last two years, the Advent Market has been very “home grown,” Rienstra said. “Vendors have been selected by word of mouth and association with students working on this project. The last two years, we mostly focused our advertising on campus.”
This year, Rienstra and student leaders have decided to advertise for vendors to broaden their market base, in addition to expanding their audience to the surrounding Wheaton community.
The Advent Market has been advertised on the radio, in local newspapers and at local stores.
“Although we’ve had a great turnout the last two years, we hope to have even more people in attendance at the Advent Market this year,” Rienstra said. “We hope to provide meaningful gift options during the Christmas season when unchecked consumerism can often overcome thoughtful gift-giving.”
In addition to a shopping opportunity, the event will also act as a campus Christmas party, providing complimentary cookies and hot drinks, live music and a Christmas photo booth. In Support Of The Arts (ISOTA) will be hosting a build-your-own gingerbread house station as well.
The Advent Market will be located in Coray Gym today, Dec. 7, from 3 to 8 p.m.
Photo Credit: Allison Freet
Printed in the December 7, 2012, issue of The Wheaton Record. Send comments to email@example.com.