Buy something handmade, help someone a world away

Published 12:01 am Thursday, April 23, 2015

NW0423 WorldCrafts Party C

During a shopping trip, customers rarely think of where the products they buy came from.

That is completely different when shopping at a WorldCrafts Party, where each item available features an informational card about where the item was made, who made it and how the purchase will help this person in the future.

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Grace Baptist Church hosted a WorldCrafts party Tuesday evening featuring gift items that were handmade by artisans from around the world, including Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

A division of the Woman’s Missionary Union, WorldCrafts helps develops sustainable, fair trade businesses among impoverished people around the world, event organizer Charlene Davenport said.

“WorldCrafts began in 1996 and has a vision is to offer an income with dignity and the hope of everlasting life to every person on earth,” she said.

At the party, tables of gift items were set up to give visitors the chance to look them over and make a purchase. Items include cards with hand-tatted embellishments, beaded key chains, children’s toys, cosmetic pouches and purses, hand-carved wooden items, woven bowls, jewelry, notebooks and journals and home decor.

“Each of these items has been handcrafted,” Davenport said. “Nothing has been mass produced. Each item comes with a little story card that tells who made it, where it is from and a little of their story.”

Several people attended the WorldCrafts party, perusing the items and making selections for gifts for loved ones. Charlotte Julian took advantage of the party to find a gift for her sister’s birthday and help others around the world.

“Whatever I decide on will help the women who make them,” she said. “Poverty is so rampant, and any help they can get helps.”

WorldCrafts partners with groups or individual crafters in impoverished countries. The crafters create their items, which are then sold online, through catalog sales or hosted parties from WorldCrafts to help provide the artisans with a sustained, livable wage, Davenport said.

“This project is designed to help provide a sustainable income so these ladies, and sometimes gentleman, can feed and provide for their families,” she said.

The efforts of WorldCrafts also help provide clean water for communities and give women employment opportunities outside of the sex trade in their local communities.

“Hopefully, there is an awareness that comes with this, that when we buy one of these items, it helps someone somewhere else in the world and that is a mission in itself,” Davenport said.

Sue Peters had been looking forward to the WorldCrafts sale for quite some time. Peters, who is a member of Grace Baptist Church, brought up the topic of having the sale in the past and was excited when the sale was announced.

“It helps spread the Gospel to other countries through missions,” Peters said. “It is a good thing the church can do to help ladies and men in foreign countries.”

Kathy Wilson, a member of Grace Baptist and a secretary at the Watauga Association of Baptists, said WorldCrafts products serve as a mission to the rest of the world.

“All purchases help fight poverty,” Wilson said. “Every time you purchase a WorldCrafts fair trade product or host a party, you are making an eternal impact on impoverished men and women and are helping spread the Gospel.”