Fair trade items make great gifts that give twice

By Daina Havens
December 8, 2006

This Christmas holiday, I will be giving gifts that give twice. The majority of the shopping that I have left will be done at a little store called Global Gifts in Wayne, PA, which is associated with hundreds of other little stores nation wide, all of which are under one big organization called Ten Thousand Villages.

This organization has a passion for achieving international social justice by bringing fairly traded, unique crafts and goods directly within the grasp of the average American consumer.

The trick is, the people who made those ornaments and organic cacao bars sitting on the store shelves can feed and clothe their families, seek medical care and means of education and maintain human dignity.

When my two close friends open their $10 green and brown African-onyx candle holder for their new home on Christmas, they will be touching a piece of art that was held in the hands of a struggling soul just trying to make a living and maintain a culture.

The heart-shaped river rock that was made in Haiti that sits on my window at home reminds me of the love and hard work that goes into making these crafts that have the ability to unite us all.

It’s really a gift that gives infinitely; being a simple Christmas gift that has the ability to also give the gift of knowledge to those who aren’t aware of the suffering that members of this one human family endure.

If you pick up an ornament, carving, bag of coffee or woven basket, just to name a few items, you’ll see a little sticker with the price and a reference to where the product was made, including places like Haiti, Africa, Bangladesh, India, China and Thailand.

There is a perfect individual gift for every family member and friend, and although every penny goes to doing good, many crafts are inexpensive in terms of money and priceless in their meaning.

For more information, visit or shop online at www.tenthousandvillages.com.

A Ten Thousand Villages brochure title sums up my entire message by simply stating, “Shop fair trade. Invest in your world.”

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Daina Havens

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