If you’re looking for a way to buy one-of-a-kind Christmas presents, learn about interesting parts of the world, and support your values with your dollars, plan on attending the 10th annual Fair Trade Market, Sunday, Nov. 19, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Helena. Fair is fair – and fair trade gives artisans and craft workers around the world a hand-up instead of a hand-out.
Many of the products sold at the event are part of a bigger story that involves Montanans traveling the world and working hand-in-hand with poverty-stricken people to make a tangible difference in their lives.
Phaedra Raymond and Marty Johnson of Helena summed up how fair trade benefits Mayan women in Guatemala following their stove-building trip to that Central American country. “When we realized that we could also provide a fair-trade outlet for Mayan women’s products in Helena,” Raymond said, “it really connected the dots and made us realize we could help our friends by selling their products at the Fair Trade Market each year. Their craftwork makes great Christmas gifts, it’s affordable, and it directly connects Helenans to some of the poorest people in the world”.
John Beaver, one of the long-time market organizers noted that the annual market is not a fundraiser for St. Paul’s church. Instead, “money from the Fair Trade Market goes directly to support the people and projects represented at the market.”
The bounty of one-of-a-kind items offered includes jewelry, home décor, clothing and accessories like scarves, purses, bags, belts, and shawls. Eco-friendly chocolate and coffee, toys, and a wide variety of Christmas ornaments are also available.
The market is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19 at the church, located on the corner of Cruse and Lawrence streets. For more information, contact John Beaver at 406-459-4150.