MANCHESTER, MO - After spending Small Business Saturday in a West County church, shoppers are expected to return Sunday while looking for gifts that give twice.
“Being able to afford the books, the school uniform, transportation to get to school, that’s probably one of the most important things that the market enables people to do.”
Diane Harrison is co-chair of the annual Manchester United Methodist Fair Trade Market, a holiday shopping experience which helps give a living wage to artisans and farmers living in the world’s most distressed economies. This all started 15 seasons ago with just one both from Plowsharing Crafts.
“I just think it’s become like a family tradition for many of our shoppers,” Harrsion said. “So, we have a lot of people who come every year. We have many out-of-towners since this is over the Thanksgiving
The work of dozens of international makers were crammed into the gymnasium. But, the biggest booth waited for those who wanted to shop from makers on U.S. soil.
“One of our main vendors, especially with our food products is called Women’s Bean Project,” Harrison explained. “It’s based in Colorado, and they work with a lot of women who are assimilating back into the economy and back into the work environment from having spent time in prison.”
The search for gifts with stories that would last generations could also empower the makers’ hands.
“It means everything to them. I think for main things that we want to be able to do is give their children a better life.”
The market reopens for one more day this season Sunday, November 26th from 9 a.m.– 3 p.m. at 129 Wood Mill Road in Manchester, MO.
To see an in-depth interview on how Partners for Just Trade helps women find independence, visit Kim Hudson’s Facebook page.