The Petersburg Parishes will host their sixth annual Fair Trade Sale on Saturday, November 11, and Sunday, November 12, in the basement of Immaculate Conception Church, North Main Street, Botkins. The hours for the sale are: Saturday (11/11), 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday (11/12), 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is open to the public and all are welcome.
The Fair Trade sale provides an opportunity to purchase unique gifts for children and adults made by independent artists, craftspersons, and farmers across the world. Items for sale will include clothing, home decor, baskets, jewelry, musical instruments, toys, Christmas decorations, crosses, and more.
The sale will also feature Fair Trade chocolate, tea, coffee, soup, and spices, with free samples available to those in attendance. Sales organizers are Immaculate Conception parishioner Audrey Gutman and St. Joseph parishioner Dr. Jamie Szelagowski, who are assisted by many volunters.
Purchases at the fair trade sale support farmers, artisans, and laborers as they seek to build better lives for their families. States a representative from the Petersburg Parishes Social Justice Commission, “The monies from the sale help people in the developing world send their children to school, build wells, and participate in projects that strengthen their communities. We’re proud to be able to help from right here in west-central Ohio.”
The Petersburg Parishes work with Catholic Relief Services and with SERRV, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing opportunity and support worldwide. SERRV collaborates with congregations of many Christian denominations to host Fair Trade sales.
The Petersburg Parishes of Botkins Immaculate Conception, Fryburg St. John, Rhine St. Lawrence, and Wapakoneta St. Joseph are named for the now-vanished Petersburg settlement (between Wapakoneta and Botkins) from which the parishes emerged in the 19th century. They are served by Father Patrick Sloneker, pastor, and Father Sean Wilson, associate pastor. For more information, call 419/738-4924.
SIDEBAR: What’s So Important about Fair Trade?
Because of economic interdependence, the decisions we make here in the United States about what we eat, drink, wear, and buy affect the lives of people overseas we may never meet. Under the conventional or free-trade system in place today, we often have no way to know how our consumer choices affect our brothers and sisters around the world, from the textile workers in Asia to farmers in Africa to artisans in Latin America. Fair Trade, however, seeks to change many ways in which conventional trade often leaves the most vulnerable people behind, by paying fair wages, supporting education, and promoting safe workplaces and environmentally sound practices.