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Ten Thousand Villages of Orlando is part of a network of nonprofit, fair trade stores with a common mission....Ten Thousand Villages provides vital, fair income to Third World people by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America.
Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit, fair trade organization with the mission of helping artisans in over 30 developing countries make a living by selling their handicrafts. The Ten Thousand Villages store sells handicrafts including gifts for the home, planters, jewelry, musical instruments, fair trade coffee, and chocolate. The items are attractively displayed with the country of origin noted on each piece.
Sales associates share the stories of the artisans and the creation of their crafts. Artisans are supported by payment of a fair price for their products, up front money to pay for supplies when needed, and payment when they fulfill an order. It is up to the store to sell the handicrafts and make new orders possible so that the artisans can have a reliable source of income.
The Ten Thousand Villages store does have a paid manager and assistant manager, but the majority of the sales associates and merchandise receivers are volunteers. Volunteers receive training on the mission of the store, the artisan stories, and the cash register. They enjoy sharing the crafts and stories as they work in the store.
- Jennifer Schroeder
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