Blog Action Day
I hadn't formally planned to participate in this year's Blog Action Day, but today's mail delivery brought a serendipitous item combining two of my favorite pastimes - shopping and helping others - that also just happens to fit with this years' Blog Action theme of poverty. This item was a beautiful 75-page catalog filled with some of the most unique gifts and handcrafted items I've ever seen.
The catalog was from SERRV, a nonprofit organization that works for social and economic parity by promoting fair trade practices and empowering low income communities across the globe. SERRV gives artisans and farmers the opportunity to conduct business in a larger market by bringing their unique handcrafted and organic products to consumers around the world.
It was such a pleasure to page through the catalog and read about the villages where these beautiful baskets, pottery pieces, toys, food items, stone and wood sculptures, articles of clothing and other artistic and practical things originated. I was particularly delighted when I came to last page of the catalog and saw a selection of gorgeous candle holders. These will make great gift additions for the people on my list who were already going to be getting my candles!
Like many Americans, I am planning to cut back on excessive holiday shopping this year. The large corporate manufacturers of the same old pieces of assembly line junk do not deserve my hard-earned money. The artists represented by this catalog, however, really do. And they offer much more valuable products in return. I think a few special gifts thoughtfully selected from sources like SERRV will do so much more to promote the true spirit of the season.