Published October 15, 2015
SMYRNA—The annual archdiocesan Fair Trade sale at the Chancery will feature handcrafted goods and jewelry, as well as shade-grown organic coffees and delicious chocolates, olive oil from the Holy Land and jams from Africa.
The sale, through the initiative of Catholic Relief Services, is to be held Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Atlanta Archdiocese, 2401 Lake Park Drive, SE, in Smyrna.
CRS’ Fair Trade program works around the world to provide technical and financial assistance to farmers and artisans, even assisting them in joining with other local people to package and ship products and market their goods. CRS focuses on giving residents of communities the capacity to develop businesses, crafts and agriculture to be self-sustaining.
While the items available make beautiful gifts, the sale at a deeper level helps artisans around the world to make a living wage and meet basic needs.
“When people purchase fair trade, they are purchasing intentionally,” said Kat Doyle, director of the archdiocesan Justice and Peace Ministries.
She said, “As Catholics, we can bring smiles to the people we care about and promote economic justice for the people who produce the gift items when we buy fair trade. Come visit the sale at the Chancery and prayerfully consider hosting an event at your own parish.”
“Parishes can set an example,” added Doyle about raising awareness of fair trade.
If a parish has a coffee service after Mass, they can use that as the chance to serve fair trade selections. Volunteers with Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Atlanta have started taking orders after Masses for Café Campesino coffees. They have selected light, blonde, dark and decaffeinated roasts, both whole bean and ground, to sell and served samples.
The effort is raising money for Food for the Poor to construct homes in Nicaragua, said Maria Massey, a parishioner.
Massey said these sales help the coffee grower, the Georgia-based coffee company, and ultimately the impoverished in Nicaragua.
The effort, coordinated mostly by graduates of the adult faith formation program, JustFaith, has raised $2,000, with more than $400 in profit to date to be directed to Food for the Poor.
The OLA group is hoping to have holiday sales and offer an automated system for payments or orders. They are willing to provide details of their efforts to other parishes.
For more information, contact Kathy Montag at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-920-7368.