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Hampton shopping event supports charities with global reach

| Monday, Oct. 31, 2016, 5:42 p.m.

The eighth annual Mission Mall featuring handcrafted and fair-trade items benefitting nonprofits will offer different holiday gift options.

“It's a lot of really interesting, unique items for sale that day that you won't see at a shopping mall necessarily,” said Kate Neville, of Ross, who founded and still organizes the event.

St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Hampton will host the sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 19. Representatives from 21 nonprofits will sell their wares at 32 tables in Fellowship Hall.

The church does not charge the vendors a table fee or keep a percentage of the profits.

“We are just providing the venue so that they can hopefully make some money to help for their different causes and programming and projects,” Neville said.

The Olive Branch, a nonprofit shop at Salem United Methodist Church in Pine that operates at 11160 Perry Highway, will participate in the Mission Mall. The store stocks handcrafted accessories and housewares, as well as food items from impoverished regions around the world.

“We'll have kind of a representative display of the items that we have in our store,” said Olive Branch volunteer Mary Sheehan.

At the Mission Mall, Olive Branch will sell Christmas ornaments, nativity sets, jewelry, scarves and colorful unisex socks. The group also plans on displaying its mission projects, such as hygiene kits for Haitian people and purses for Zambian girls to use for storing feminine hygiene supplies.

“It's a wonderful event,” Sheehan, of Marshall, said. “We've been doing it every year that they've had it.”

Ugandan Gold nonprofit coffee company will sell its regular, decaf, and several flavored varieties. Additionally, they will offer chocolates and handwoven baskets.

With an office at Christ Church at Grove Farm in Ohio Township, the coffee is harvested at a Ugandan plantation and roasted in the United States. All profits are returned to Uganda, according to business manager Jill Whitecap of McCandless.

“Our biggest thing is we have a water-well drilling business over in Uganda, drilling water wells for villages that have none,” she said.

“I'm very excited about the water wells we've been able to drill,” Whitecap said. “We've either drilled or rehabbed over 80 so far, which is over 100,000 people having fresh water, and I'm excited about that and I get to talk about that at the Mission Mall.”

North Hills Community Outreach will offer notecards displaying “some really beautiful images of fruits of vegetables,” grown in the organization's Rosalinda Sauro Sirianni Garden Memorial Garden in Bellevue, said Jennifer Kissel, communications director. Furthermore, the St. Paul's ministry will sell Enjoy Coupon Books and distribute handmade ornaments for people to include in their holiday cards notifying recipients that donations were made in their names.

Other groups attending the Mission Mall include: African Team Ministries, Allegheny Center Alliance Church, Bead for Life, Genesis House, Gwen's Girls, Nyadire Mission, Shepherd's Door, Sisters of Divine Providence, St. Paul's Youth, Ten Thousand Villiages, Treasure House Fashions and many others.

Group representatives will be available to educate guests about the nonprofits' missions.

“Sometimes, just being able to hand out your literature to people, it could spark an interest in somebody to make an extra donation or to somehow get involved in their own way,” Neville said.

Kissel said North Hills Community Outreach's Mission Mall presence serves as a way “to remind people that we're way more than a food pantry. We have more than 20 programs.

During the mall, St. Paul's United Methodist Women will host a Cookie Walk fundraiser. The sale is set for 9 a.m. until the cookies run out.

“This is all about giving to others and giving back at the same time, and I think that is fantastic,” Whitecap said.

Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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