We opened our presents Christmas Eve and part of a balanced approach to giving was sharing fair trade gifts from Ten Thousand Villages, a wing of the relief organization Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Founded 60 years ago, the nonprofit organization sells handcrafted products made from disadvantaged artisans of 120 groups from 35 countries. There are 80 stores across North America and an online e-commerce site.
Under our tree were fair trade coffees grown in Peru, some Himalayan teas packaged in beautiful sewn bags, several music CD's, and exotic orange chocolate.
The organization also offers Living Gifts or donations of tangible items for needy communities including livestock, educational and medical supplies, and sustainable agricultural assistance.
The site also provides an essay on 10 Reasons to Support Fair Trade.
The true spirit of Christmas should include an empathetic understanding of the glaring needs among those both near and far.