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Human Services Students Host Public Events to Help Community

A Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale and a Gifts That Give Hope Fair will be held Nov. 16-18 at Pennsylvania College of Technology%E2%80%99s Bush Campus Center.Students in human services classes at Pennsylvania College of Technology will combine forces to offer holiday-shopping opportunities that benefit others Nov. 16-18 in the Bush Campus Center.

The students will offer their annual fair-trade sale of handcrafted goods to help working poor in other countries, as well as an opportunity for shoppers to purchase gifts for local nonprofit agencies through a Gifts That Give Hope Fair.

Through the Gifts That Give Hope event, conducted by students in a Service Learning in Sociology course, eight local organizations will host information tables, along with lists of gifts that can be “purchased” during the event to benefit the organizations’ clients. For example, a $10 donation to the West House provides personal-care supplies (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and deodorant) for a client.

“The groups cover a wide a variety of charities: medical, children, homeless shelters,” said Nicole D. Riley, an applied human services student from Milton.

Participating agencies are the Center for Independent Living, Community Alliance for Progressive Positive Action, Family Promise, Favors Forward, Needlework Guild, North Central Sight Services, Shepherd of the Streets and the West House, all based in Williamsport.

Those donating through Gifts That Give Hope will get a receipt for tax-deduction purposes. Those giving in honor of a friend or loved one will also receive a card to present to that person.

“I think the reason we’re doing this has two parts: to expose the community to nonprofit agencies they might not have known about, and the second part is to raise money for items the agency can use for its clients,” said Nicole N. English, an applied human services student from South Williamsport. “These agencies do not receive a lot of funding, and often it is not enough to cover all their clients’ needs.”

In the same venue, students enrolled in the course Community and Organizational Change will host a Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale, featuring fair-trade handcrafted goods. Items will include handmade sustainable jewelry, ornaments, baskets, candleholders, soaps, musical instruments, wood and stone statuary, and other home-décor items from around the world.

Ten Thousand Villages is one of the world’s oldest fair-trade organizations. The nonprofit group works with more than 100 artisan groups in more than 30 countries. Fair trade enables the artisans to earn a fair wage and provides the opportunity for a higher quality of life.

In addition to organizing a sale on campus, the class spent a day of their semester break volunteering in a Ten Thousand Villages warehouse, where they helped to pack items for shipping, and visiting one of the organization’s stores in Lancaster County. The company’s warehouses and stores are staffed mainly by volunteers, so that more proceeds can be returned to the crafters.

The public is invited to campus to participate in the joint Ten Thousand Villages and Gifts That Give Hope sales. Hours are 1-7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17; and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18.

Those making a purchase through Ten Thousand Villages will be entered in a daily drawing to win an additional $25 to spend at the sale. For more information about Ten Thousand Villages, visit online .

Learn more or donate to the Gifts That Give Hope Fair on the Web .

To learn more about human services majors and other academic programs in the School of Integrated Studies at Penn College, call 570-327-4520 or visit the school website .

For more about Penn College, visit online , email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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