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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Global Village Gifts supports Fair Trade artisans around the world

A sample of gifts at Global Village. / Photo by Nicole Brown

By Nicole Brown

November 25, 2008 | Since opening its doors in November 2003, Global Village Gifts has been providing Logan customers with a place to purchase handmade goods that benefit families and communities around the globe.

Global Village Gifts specializes in Fair Trade goods and offers various items from musical instruments and candies to clothings and home decor. Originally opened on Nov. 7, 2003. under the umbrella of Ten Thousand Villages, one of the largest global Fair Trade organizations, they soon chose to file as a nonprofit store and changed their name to Global Village Gifts in September 2005, increasing their opportunity to sell a variety of vendors.

Fair Trade gifts and handmade items has had a growth in popularity in the last decade with many retailers seeing the benefit of supplying items that follow the principle of Fair Trade. All Fair Trade goods are purchased through a co-op program which provides the artisans with a 50 percent upfront stipend to allow them to buy supplies and goods. They then sell the items made through retailers such as Ten Thousand Villages, which provide stores throughout the U.S. and Canda with access to Fair Trade items. The Ten Thousand Village Web site states that with their organization, "artisan partners thrive with the opportunity to build on traditional skills and expand their artistic vision in the creation of new crafts."

Although providing locals with unique handmade goods is a benefit, volunteer Julie Barker said aiding others through Fair Trade and educating the public is the main focus of the store.

The store allows us to "benefit artisans by giving them a better way to support their families," said Barker. Through working with organizations such as Ten Thousand Villages, the store is able to connect with artisans throughout the globe, many of whom are women, and "hopefully end the cycle of poverty." The organization approaches artisans in many areas, including Asia, Africa and South America, helping them to create better lives for themselves and their families while "establishing long-term relationships," said Barker.

Because Global Village Gifts is a nonprofit store the money from the sales go directly back to the artisan, ensuring the artisan is treated fairly. With local support and involvement the store has been able to help increase awareness around Logan about the principles of Fair Trade and the importance of it. They also have no full-time employees, relying solely on their volunteers.

Barker said the store participates in many local programs and events, including the upcoming Gallery Walk, and is grateful to the local community's support and the support of their customers.

"Our customers are our best resource," said Barker.

Global Village Gifts is at 146 N. 100 East in Logan. Hours of operation are Thursday and Friday, noon to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They also have extended hours throughout the holiday season, open daily noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Anyone interested in volunteering may contact Global Village Gifts at (435) 713-4347.

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