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Are you looking to purchase presents this holiday season? Campus Ministry encourages you to think about using your purchasing power to support organizations that have just work practices, pay living wages to their employees, support the local economy and are fair trade.

Consider the following ideas to make your holidays more just:

  • KIVA: For as little as $25, you can contribute to a microloan that will help people from around the world start businesses in places where traditional banking systems do not exist. Gift cards are available!
  • Five Points Bakery (426 Rhode Island Street): Indulge in baked goods made with local ingredients or even consider purchasing a “bread share” to receive a baked item once a week.
  • Sweetness 7 (301 Parkside Avenue & 220 Grant Street): A great place for gift certificates! Sweetness 7’s two locations (the closest is across from the zoo’s entrance) provides a variety of coffee and homemade goods. Try sampling the sweet and savory crepes at the Parkside location.
  • El Buen Amigo (114 Elmwood Avenue): For 34 years the Latin American Cultural Association has been helping the people of Latin America and other countries to sustain themselves and their heritage by selling their arts and crafts here in America. These purchases provide a living wage to the crafters.
  • Thin Ice (719 Elmwood Avenue): Support local crafters–everything is made in the USA. Check out jewelry, pottery, glass and fiber creations.
  • West Side Bazaar (25 Grant Street): Support local refugees and immigrants. The Bazaar is a launchpad for aspiring entrepreneurs from all over the world (Peru, Ghana, Burma, India, Rwanda, the Sudan and China). Check out the 22 onsite merchants in their new Grant Street location.
  • Wild Things (224 Lexington Avenue): A collection of various local artisans specializing in custom bridal jewelry, ceramics, prints and fibers.
  • Global Girlfriend: Helps women worldwide by providing an online marketplace for their handmade, fairly traded goods. Your purchases also fund micro-grants for women in Africa to launch small businesses.
  • Ethix Merch: Lots of fair trade, union made apparel and accessories–many of which can be personalized.

Submitted by:  Sarah Signorino, associate campus minister, campus ministry