Local nonprofit shopping offers many benefits

With the holidays closing in, the gift shopping continues. For people looking for something a bit unusual that also provides a double benefit, Wilton’s nonprofit organizations offer interesting selections. Shopping at these establishments keeps money in Wilton and benefits the buyer and organizations that serve the town, as well as the recipients of a varied selection of items.
Perhaps one of the more unusual gifts is adopting an exotic animal from Woodcock Nature Center. You don’t take the animal home — Fred the Green Frog, Edna the Savannah Monitor Lizard, Mr. Toad, and their fellow animals all remain at the nature center, but a donation supports their care. These animals visit with hundreds of students each year through  Woodcock’s many educational and camp programs, so they do earn their keep.

A six-month adoption costs $250 and the donor receives a 5-x-7 photo, a letter from the animal, a certificate, a natural and personal fact sheet, and recognition on the nature center’s website. A one-year donation is $500 and the donor receives all of the above plus a Woodcock T-shirt.
Photos of the animals are online at woodcocknaturecenter.org. For information on adopting, email naturalist@woodcocknaturecenter.org or call 203-762-7280.

Books and art

Wilton Library is in the midst of its Holiday Book Sale with items for all ages and tastes. Tables and shelves fill the gallery with new and gently used holiday-themed books, craft books, art and history books, novels, cookbooks, gardening books, and children’s books. There are also new, shrink-wrapped CDs and DVDs. The selection is replenished regularly.
On the library’s gallery walls is the art exhibition The Message Is the Medium, with works by Eileen Panepinto and Ellen Schiffman of Weston, Debra Schaffer of Ridgefield, and Joyce Seymore of Wilton. The majority of these works are available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the library.
Those who would like to give a gift to the library itself may pick an ornament off the Giving Tree. These ornaments represent the library’s wish list to add to its collection or augment its many programs.
Information: 203-762-3950 or www.wiltonlibrary.org.
Anyone shopping on amazon. com may support the library and nature center by logging on to smile.amazon. com, enabling them to receive a portion of the purchase price.

Nonprofit stores

There are also some real nonprofit stores in the Betts Store at Wilton Historical Society and the Turnover Shop.
The Turnover Shop has been a fixture in Wilton for decades. It supports the Wilton PTA Council, Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County, and other local charities. Over the years, it has contributed more than $1 million.
On a recent weekday morning the store was filled with shoppers selecting from clothing for all ages, jewelry, toys, furniture, household items, and holiday décor. Many items are in new or nearly new condition.
The Turnover Shop’s regular business hours are Monday through Friday from 10 to 4 and Saturday from 10 to 1. Donations are always accepted during these hours. For information, call 203-7623160.

Like the original 18th-Century Betts Store, the Wilton Historical Society’s 21st-Century version always features locally made and one-of-akind items, many handcrafted. This holiday season, offerings range from pieces of jewelry, scarves, soaps, and letterpress note cards to toys, games and puzzles for kids. There are also unusual candles, artwork, mugs, vases, and cups. Some items are made in Wilton, some in Connecticut, and all are made in the United States.
New offerings this season are an expanded section of books; cheese serving boards and baguette cutting boards; bourbon-infused honey; salted honey; silkscreened tote bags, purses, and zippered pouches; wind bells; ornaments; cashmere scarves; and Pendleton blankets.
There is also a selection of Wilton-themed items.
Information: 203-762-7257 or visit wiltonhistorical.org.

Enriching ideas

Giving the gift of entertainment is possible with tickets to a show presented by the Wilton Playshop. The playshop has been presenting live plays and musicals since 1937 in its converted barn on Lovers Lane. Run by a group of volunteers, three major productions are presented each year as well as special events such as youth productions.
The next show is How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, with performances April 28 through May 13. This popular comedy will be directed by Skip Ploss.
For ticket and subscription information, visit wiltonplayshop. org.
Those looking to give a gift of personal enrichment may want to consider a Wilton Continuing Education gift certificate.
Valid for any class offered in the Wilton Continuing Education catalog, the gift certificates never expire, and a simple gift card code allows the cardholder to utilize any or all of the amount given at any time.
To purchase a gift certificate, visit bit.ly/continuingedgift.
To learn more about Wilton Continuing Education and its programs, call 203-834-7694 or visit wiltoncontinuinged.org.

Help at home

Looking for a gift for an older person who doesn’t need another sweater or coffee mug? A Stay at Home in Wilton gift certificate offers value every day. When a member finds himself or herself needing a ride or help with a small household task like changing hard-to-reach lightbulbs or sagging curtain rods, Stay at Home volunteers are there to help.
The group also offers numerous social events, such as holiday parties and day trips.
An annual membership is $360 for a single person and $480 for a couple. For holiday gift certificates, call Janet Johnson, executive coordinator, at 203-762-2600 by Monday, Dec. 19, for guaranteed delivery.

Shopping local

A simple gift that supports local businesses is the Wilton Chamber of Commerce’s Wilton gift certificate. Certificates are redeemable at any Chamber member business and may be purchased at the Village Market, the Riverbrook Regional YMCA, Fairfield County Bank, and the Chamber office at 86 Old Ridgefield Road.
Information: 203-762-0567 or info@wiltonchamber.com, or visit wiltonchamber.com.