Delmar Fair Trade Market to offer hand up, not handout, this holiday season

BETHLEHEM — A Delmar Thanksgiving weekend tradition, the Black Friday/Saturday Fair Trade Market will again open its doors in 2018 to ethically minded shoppers seeking unique, handcrafted gifts.  

The market will be open Nov. 23 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Delmar Presbyterian Church at 585 Delaware Ave. in Delmar. Each year since 2010, shoppers wishing to avoid crowded malls and do good as they purchase holiday gifts have flocked to this festive and joyful event.

Eleven vendors representing over 50 fair-trade cooperatives worldwide will offer an array of products as varied as the communities where they’re produced. These include jewelry, bags, scarves, apparel, baskets, holiday decorations, toys, decorative items for the home, coffees, and chocolate.

The tremendous community response to this annual event has led to the opening of other Fair Trade Markets around the Capital District. The Saratoga Fair Trade Market Expo will be held at the Saratoga Springs City Center on Friday, Nov. 30, from 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The following weekend, the St. Kateri Fair Trade Market will open Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9:30 4:30 p.m. at 1801 Union St. in Schenectady.

The Fair Trade movement is a sustainable approach to fighting worldwide poverty by providing fair compensation, safe workplaces, and market opportunities for artisans and producers in developing countries. Shopping fair trade is a simple way for community members to join the fight against worldwide poverty, providing a hand up rather than a handout.   

Proceeds directly support artisans, producers and their families and are reinvested back into local communities to support education, health care, nutrition, and microloan initiatives.

As always, the family-friendly event in Delmar will offer a fun treasure hunt for children and is a great place to bring weekend visitors. Admission is free and parking ample. Snacks, drinks, and lunch will be available.

At a time when division and disaster dominate the news, this event epitomizes much needed hope and goodwill.

Editor’s note: Marilyn Kriss is a co-organizer of the Black Friday/Saturday Fair Trade Market.

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