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Archive for Saturday, November 28, 2009

Market features exotic holiday gifts

Sandy Sanders checks the paper jewelry selection at Lawrence’s annual Fair Trade Holiday Market on Friday at Ecumenical Christian Ministries, 1204 Oread Ave. The market is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Sandy Sanders checks the paper jewelry selection at Lawrence’s annual Fair Trade Holiday Market on Friday at Ecumenical Christian Ministries, 1204 Oread Ave. The market is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

November 28, 2009

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On the search for a bag made of recycled juice boxes? Or a basket woven with plastic bags?

How about some fair trade chocolate?

They can all be found, with hundreds of other unique holiday gifts, at the Lawrence Fair Trade Holiday Market at Ecumenical Christian Ministries, 1204 Oread Ave., happening through Dec. 3.

“They’re one-of-a-kind,” said Lawrence resident Sarah Dean of the holiday gifts she was busy shopping for. Among them, a handmade jewelry box from India.

In addition to their appeal to the exotic, the products featured at the market all support fair trade and fair wage practices throughout the world, said organizer Autumn Magiera.

“It helps people lift themselves out of poverty,” she said.

The proceeds go back to the communities and artists around the world where they were made, supporting humanitarian projects.

Magiera, as she walks through the market, knows by memory which products were made where, and the community projects the proceeds go to support.

She traveled to Kenya last year, and is working to start a fair trade cooperative there.

She said she’s seen firsthand the difference fair trade practices make in communities. “It changes everything,” she said. “There’s so much power we have through where we spend our money.”

Lawrence resident Laura Diaz Moore was shopping at the market with her two children, and sees value in knowing her money supports fair wages. “We know that the people who are making these things are being treated fairly,” she said.

In addition to the market, there is also a Kids Corner at the event, where children can make gifts for the holidays while their parents shop.

Also new this year are chair massages and homemade baked goods, with proceeds supporting international aid organizations.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

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