Students organize fair-trade sale to help world's working poor

Students at Pennsylvania College of Technology are doing their part to help the working poor in other nations by organizing a fair-trade sale of handcrafted goods Nov. 18-20.

The students, who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in applied human services, will host a Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale, which will include handmade jewelry, ornaments and home décor from around the world. The event is scheduled for 4 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 18; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 19; and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 20, in the Bush Campus Center lobby. The public is invited.

Ten Thousand Villages – one of the world’s oldest fair-trade organizations – works with more than 100 artisan groups in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Fair trade enables the artisans to earn a fair wage and provides the opportunity for a higher quality of life.

The students are enrolled in the course, Community and Organizational Change, which helps them develop the skills to recognize existing and emergent human needs and plan successful community and organizational responses to those needs.

The students said artisans who are represented by Ten Thousand Villages get by on very little – often $30 to $40 a month.

“This project gives the students in the class the chance to help and make a difference in the lives of people from around the world,” said Nicole N. English, of South Williamsport, who is one of 11 students enrolled in the course.

In addition to hosting the sale, the class spent a day volunteering in a Ten Thousand Villages warehouse and visiting one of the organization’s stores in Lancaster County. The company’s warehouses and stores are staffed mainly by volunteers, so that more proceeds can be returned to the crafters.

Live music will be played during the sale by Key of V, which is made up of sisters Erin M. and Valerie A. LaCerra, of Linden, who are students in the applied human services major. The duo will play from 11 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19. There will be a drawing for door prizes all three days of the sale.

Items to be sold are on display in the Madigan Library through the end of the sale.

For more information about human services majors and other academic programs offered by the School of Integrated Studies at Penn College, visit http://www.pct.edu/schools/is or call 570-327-4521.

For more information about Penn College, visit http://www.pct.edu, e-mail admissions@pct.edu or call 800-367-9222.

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Last Updated November 06, 2009