One of my very favorite times of the year is when one of our local parishes hosts the Work of Human Hands sale before Christmas. This is a sale organized by local church volunteers and sponsored by Catholic Relief Services and SERRV International, who work directly with artisans from around the world to market their crafts and pay them fair wages for their work. In addition, they provide grants and training to help people continue to develop themselves and expand their resources, and so much more.
SERRV offers a bounty of beautiful jewelry, chocolates, scarves, nativity sets, rosaries, ornaments, table linens, candles, artwork, coffee and soaps, clothing and toys to name a few. And what you can not find at the sale itself, you can purchase online easily.
This is a rare and precious opportunity to spend our money in a way which truly gives twice. The funds from just a few items from the sale could help one farmer send one child to school for a whole year, which is a significant step in the direction of eliminating poverty for a family. In Haiti, families are able to rebuild their homes after the hurricane which ravaged the island last year. Women who have been widowed can support themselves and their children. Just take a moment to look at the faces of these incredible people, read their beautiful short stories, and your heart will be touched beyond words.
I spoke with Elizabeth Pawelek who served as an intern with CRS this past summer and will be helping with the Work of Human Hands sale this weekend. She shared a little bit of her passion for fair trade consumerism with me here.