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Students Organize Ten Thousand Villages Sale

Students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in applied human services at Pennsylvania College of Technology are organizing a fair-trade sale of handcrafted goods Nov. 17-19 to help the working poor in other nations.

The students plan to host a Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale, which will include handmade and sustainable jewelry, ornaments, baskets, candleholders, soaps, musical instruments, wood and stone statuary, and other home-décor items from around the world. The event is scheduled in the Bush Campus Center lobby from noon to 7 p.m. on Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 18, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 19. The public is welcomed.

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 in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Fair trade enables the artisans to earn a fair wage and provides the opportunity for a higher quality of life.

“It benefits the workers who make the product, boosting their economy,” explained Vanessa M. Morgan, of Williamsport, who is one of 11 students enrolled in a course called Community and Organizational Change, which is organizing the sale.

The goal of the course is to help human services students develop the skills to recognize existing and emerging human needs and plan successful community and organizational responses to those needs.

The students said artisans who are represented by Ten Thousand Villages typically get by on just $30 to $40 a month.

In addition to hosting the sale, the class spent a day of their semester break volunteering in a Ten Thousand Villages warehouse 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.

According to the students, the seven hours of volunteer work by the 11 class members equals approximately 20 months’ salary for one of the artisans.

There will be a drawing for door prizes Nov. 17 and Nov. 18. Live music will be played by Key of V, which is made up of sisters Erin M. and Valerie A. LaCerra, of Linden, who are students in the applied human services major. The duo will play at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 19.

Items to be sold will be displayed in the Madigan Library throughout the week of the festival sale.

For more information about Ten Thousand Villages, visit online .

To learn more about human services majors and other academic programs offered by the School of Integrated Studies at Penn College, visit on the Web or call 570-327-4521.

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