Wednesday, 09 November 2011 08:01

Ten Thousand Villages offers unique Christmas gift options, aiding those in developing nations

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Southern Alberta
This year, the annual Living Gift Festival at Ten Thousand Villages pairs development projects with Fair Trade handicrafts, so that gift-givers can make twice the difference.

Julie Klok, manager, Ten Thousand Villages (Lethbridge) said in one pairing, $40 would purchase four bags of cement to help build a sand dam in Tanzania, while adding $8 would purchase a Fair Trade dragonfly.

The dam would provide clean and accessible water while helping develop local ecosystems, prevent erosion, decrease water-borne diseases and increase school attendance, said Klok.

In addition, purchase of the individual craft item provides support for an individual artisan.

A number of such pairings are available this year, said Klok, including those which train individuals to manage livestock, make soap and engage in other endeavours that in turn help those individuals support themselves.

“Ten Thousand Villages has partnered with the Mennonite Central Committee on Living Gifts since 2003, raising over $5 million in donations,” said National Sales Manager Bev Hiebert. “Customers have not only given very special gifts to recipients, but have also had a huge impact on the lives of countless people around the world.”

Living Gifts supports projects that help build long-term sustainability by providing education, food, clean water and new opportunities said Klok. This year’s projects range in price from $24 to $350, making them an excellent choice as group, teacher or individual gifts.

Gifts are available from Nov. 5 to Dec. 31 at all Ten Thousand Villages Canada locations and online at:

Tax receipts are available.

For more information, please contact Julie Klok,

Ten Thousand Villages, 329 – 5 Street South, Lethbridge or phone 403-327-8087.

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