Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ten Thousand Villages Holiday Benefit

I believe it’s been over 12 years since I got a notification from the volunteer coordinator of SXSW Film Festival calling for volunteers for Ten Thousand Villages of Austin, a fair trade retail nonprofit store. I looked up their website and read a bit about their history and what Fair Trade means.

“Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers.
“It highlights the need for change in the rules and practice of conventional trade and shows how a successful business can also put people first. It is a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and economic crisis.” 
—World Fair Trade Organization

I was so impressed with their mission, I signed up and got trained as a volunteer and have been volunteering with this organization ever since. I have gotten to meet some of the artisans on their U.S. tours and have learned so much about their families and villages and their workers. There are actually over 160 Ten Thousand Villages in the U.S. and over 40 in Canada, all based on the same model of fair trade. I have met wonderful folks from Niger and Pakistan.

In addition to their mission, Ten Thousand Villages of Austin also supports local nonprofits throughout the year by designating a specific benefit night where 10-15% of sales are donated to a specific nonprofit. VSA Texas has participated in this event for over 5 years. Gradually we have developed a loyal following of those who not only love VSA Texas and our mission but love the mission of Ten Thousand Villages as well.

This year’s VSA Texas benefit night will be at the fairly new location of Ten Thousand Villages on 4803 Burnet Road, with plenty of accessible parking in front and more parking behind the building. Come shop with us, get to know VSA Texas a little better as well as the wonderful folks at Ten Thousand Villages. Remember to come in the store between 5:00-8:00 PM on Monday, December 11th, and I guarantee you will find that special, one-of-a-kind ornament or gift, complete with the story behind each item you purchase. Over 38 developing countries are represented in the store.

Also, as a special treat, Rick Perkins & Friends will be there to perform original tunes and share stories with his songwriter pals.

Rick Perkins singing and playing acoustic guitar at Roots

Please visit Ten Thousand Villages YouTube Channel to see what all they offer. And visit our VSA Texas YouTube Channel to see what we are about. And come join us Monday, December 11th, from 5:00-8:00 PM for a blending of two wonderful missions aimed at giving artists our support to encourage growth and sustainability for themselves and their families.

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