Lehigh University
Lehigh University


An opportunity to support artists around the world

Lehigh University’s Microfinance Club will support the efforts of artisans around the world by bringing a festival sale featuring handmade gifts, home decor, jewelry and personal accessories to the Lehigh University Bookstore.

The event, which will be held on December 1-5 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Café in the Bookstore, offers a unique opportunity for people in the Lehigh Valley to invest in their world by shopping fair trade. Shoppers will also learn more about skilled artisans in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

This is the first year that the Microfinance Club has hosted the festival. Sale organizer Puja Parekh says, “For more than 60 years, Ten Thousand Villages has worked with talented artisans around the world providing vital, fair income in exchange for their beautiful handcrafted items. By holding this sale of hand-painted ceramics, intricately woven basketry and handmade jewelry, we give the Lehigh community a chance to help create employment opportunities for people around the world.”

The Bookstore currently has one mini-display set up, so those interested can stop in to see some of the merchandise that will be featured. Additionally, the Barnes & Noble Café is stepping up to encourage people to shop the sale. Steve Schatten, general manager of the Bookstore, says that “customers can get one half-priced beverage with any Ten Thousand Villages purchase” during the sale days. The buyer must present the receipt from Ten Thousand Villages to Café baristas to get the half-priced drink.

Sales, like this one sponsored by the Microfinance Club, owe their success to dedicated local volunteers. The Microfinance Club is currently accepting Lehigh students as volunteers to help unpack the crafts, serve as sales clerks, and clean up following the event.

During the event, items can be purchased with cash or GoldPlus only. There is an ATM on site.

Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade retailer of artisan-crafted home decor, personal accessories and gift items from across the globe. Featuring products from more than 130 artisan groups in some 36 countries, Lehigh is part of a network of more than 150 retail outlets throughout the United States selling Ten Thousand Villages products. For more than 60 years, Ten Thousand Villages has been establishing long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans lack opportunities for stable income. All artisans are fairly paid for their products.

For information regarding the festival sale, please contact Brynn Buskirk at brb207@lehigh.edu or (610) 758-4652.

--Brynn Buskirk

Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008

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