The annual Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale at First Presbyterian Church in Elizabethton offers a chance to shop for unique crafts gathered from around the world while also helping deserving artisans support their families.
Kathe Crossley and Gary Barrigar, members of the Peace Making Committee at the church who help organize and promote the annual sale, said buying the handcrafted items made by talented international artisans offers a “win-win situation” for all involved.
“It’s a great way to help people in developing countries support themselves and their families,” Barrigar said.
In addition to helping a worthwhile cause, shoppers can also be assured they are purchasing quality products.
“People who buy these items are going to get some wonderful gifts,” Crossley said.
Barrigar said this is the 16th year that First Presbyterian has sponsored a Ten Thousand Villages sale.
He and his wife, Nancy, have been involved with the sale from the start.
“We were surprised by the community support the sale received,” he said. “Now, we have people coming back year after year.”
Barrigar estimated that the sale has earned more than $70,000 in its 16-year history with First Presbyterian. All the money raised, other than some shipping costs, goes directly to the participating artists.
The sale also fits in well with the church’s overall mission, which encourages members to find ways of alternative giving in order to help others.
Crossley noted that sale offers a wide variety of items, including jewelry, pottery, baskets, linens, toys, figurines and Christmas decorations.
“It’s just a really good opportunity to find that special, unique gift,” she said.