Brentwood church to hold first fair trade sale
St. Sylvester Parish in Brentwood will sponsor its first fair trade sale on Sept. 27 and 28, bringing the world to the South Hills.
Foods, home décor items, fashion and musical instruments made by artisans from third-world countries will be sold to support families in struggling communities far away.
Mimi Darragh, social minister at the parish and the event's organizer, said Diocese of Pittsburgh officials encouraged fair trade sales about three years ago because they fit with the Roman Catholic faith's teachings on life and human dignity.
Darragh said she has put together a few similar sales at another church. “This is not like a craft or vendor show. These items produce a living wage for people and create jobs,” she said.
Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade retailer in Squirrel Hill, will supply the products that come from Asia, India, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
“I always ask for coffee, chocolate and olive oil, the best sellers,” Darragh said.
The olive oil comes from the West Bank, where Israeli and Palestinian farmers cooperate in the production. Olive wood Christmas ornaments will come from Bethlehem.
“The coffee may be a little more expensive than Maxwell House,” she said, but farmers picked the beans in Guatemala.
There are stories behind much of the artwork to be sold.
Helene Paharik, associate general secretary of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, remembers seeing five Palestinian women roaming Bethlehem streets, hunting for discarded glass bottles. Later, they cut the multicolored glass and created stained glass angel ornaments.
“With the money they made, they were able to support 20 kids,” she said. She purchased one ornament and thinks of the women and children often.
“The angel meant so much to me,” Paharik said. “It was not just a transaction, but an intimate connection with the artist.”
Through the fair trade system supported by Catholic Relief Services, crafts are sent to places where they might be sold.
“There is no local market” in many areas where the items are made,” she said. “Everyone around them is poor.”
No one is exploited in the system, Paharik said. Items are purchased outright from crafters, supporting each village.
“It's the greatest incentive of helping people help themselves,” she said.
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Brentwood’s centennial year July 4 to be special
- Baldwin-Whitehall budget includes tax increase
- Longtime Baldwin-Whitehall librarian closes the book on career
- West Jefferson Hills School Board to approve site work at new high school property
- Hoopla helps bring comic books to life on your computer or device
- West Jefferson Hills School Board set to approve final budget
- South Park Meals on Wheels continues to meet residents’ needs
- 5 streets chosen for repaving in Pleasant Hills