Ten Thousand Villages will team up with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) organization to celebrate World Fair Trade Day with lots of in-store excitement this Saturday.
Although the store celebrates fair trade everyday, interim manager Joanne Hildebrand said that you can never remind people too much about a good cause.
“Everything we sell helps to benefit a family in a developing country,” Hildebrand said.
“This event is going to let us do good locally and further education opportunities.”
Members of the Brandon University WUSC student group will be helping around the store during the event to serve fair trade coffee and chocolate, as well as to inform customers on the different benefits of fair trade.
WUSC feels it is import to use the day as a chance to make people more aware of fair trade.
As part of World Fair Trade Day, customers can do their part for WUSC by showing a special “coupon” when they purchase any item at Ten Thousand Villages.
If they do, 15 per cent of the cash paid out for that item will be given to WUSC as a donation.
“All the money will go to the Student Refugee Program,” said Brandy Robertson, president of the staff and faculty WUSC group.
“We are very excited as this fall we can fund two refugees to come to school here.”
Robertson said WUSC is active at BU in two groups, between which she acts as a liaison.
Ten Thousand Villages has also planned a number of additional surprises for their shoppers, including a draw for a basket of food products.
Hildebrand said that even at smaller scale events, the store has seen an increase in traffic and they are excited for Saturday.
“Every little bit we can do helps, and this is will help to bring more awareness,” she said.
“We have had a regular connection with WUSC for the past five years.”
A highlight of the World Fair Trade Day event in Brandon will be a drum circle led by Merv Rollins.
Hildebrand and Robertson encourage people to come by between two and four to take part and play some of the different drums.
“This is the first year that we have celebrated World Fair Trade Day,” Robertson said.
“I am really excited to get a chance to keep educating people on the importance of fair trade.”
Robertson has been involved with WUSC for the past seven years and said that after learning more about the different programs she became really passionate about the cause.
“For the past likely 30 years Brandon University has been the host to one refugee each year,” Robertson said. “This will be the first year they have enough money to fund two.”
WUSC does not know yet where the refugees will be coming from. Robertson said in the past they often came from refugees camps in Kenya, originally from countries like Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia.
Hildebrand said that the store and staff are happy to be helping to provide funds to further the educational opportunities for these refugees.
Coupons to put a portion of purchases towards WUSC can be picked up at Ten Thousand Villages until closing on Friday.
They are also available from Robertson at 761-8551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 10, 2012