Shop for Good this Holiday Season

By Laura Ferguson

I will be the first to admit that giving gifts is fun and rewarding, especially during the holiday season. Finding the perfect something for the perfect someone is a show of love that we do less of during the rest of the year. More and more, people  like to feel more connected to the world through their giving and receiving. Here are a couple of suggestions for local, meaningful shopping this holiday season:

The Old North Fair Trade Market is a mission of Old North United Methodist Church and advocates “a double dose of thoughtful spending.” The Fair Trade Market has something for everyone on your list: beautiful jewelry, coffee and other food items, kitchenware, gifts for babies, gifts for men, apparel, accessories, greeting cards, and more. Visit the Fair Trade Market at 4200 Stringtown Rd. in the small white house next to the chapel. Store hours: Tuesdays, 9am-1pm; Thursdays, 2-6pm; and Saturdays, 10am-2pm.

Uncharted International is a nonprofit mission agency based here in Evansville. The primary focus of Uncharted is to advance the gospel in unreached/unengaged people groups, as well as help people go farther in their faith.” Uncharted Communities are the primary way by which the organization is responding to the injustice of no-gospel-access, human trafficking and restoration, orphan populations and more. Uncharted Communities also provide the opportunity for people to engage in global missions. Uncharted operates a shop where you can purchase fair trade blankets, apparel, and accessories made by young women who are employed and provided sustainable incomes. Uncharted is located at 400 S. Green River Road, and they also operate a boutique in the lobby of Old National Bank at 1 Main Street. Store hours: Monday through Friday, 10am-5pm.

Bridges of Hope is a mission of Mt. Vernon’s First United Methodist Church. The store was launched in August 2006 and continues to grow. Similar to Old North’s Fair Trade Market, Bridges sells fair trade hand-crafted gift items, including handmade toys, home decor, scarves, jewelry, greeting cards, and ornaments and nativities for the holidays. Bridges of Hope is located at 601 Main Street in Mount Vernon. Store hours: Tuesdays, 9am-2pm; Thursdays, 5-7pm; Saturdays, 9am-2pm; and Sundays, 9:15-10:15am.

Don’t forget about Karama, another fair trade boutique on Evansville’s east side, Planters Coffeehouse in Henderson that is now selling all fair trade, organic coffee, and one-stop shops like River City Mercantile and Coffee Co. on Main Street where you can find a plethora of handcrafted, local gifts.

Take your favorite young person with you to visit any of these shops where you can both learn a little bit about fair trade, local craftsmen, and how spending thoughtfully can change lives across our community and the world.

Have a wonderful holiday season from all of us at Youth Resources!