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Springing ahead with new Ten Thousand Villages sale in Yarmouth

As usual, there was a variety of items for sale when the Ten Thousand Villages event was held in Yarmouth last fall. This year, a spring sale has been added. Scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, it will be held at Beacon United Church, same location as the fall sale.
As usual, there was a variety of items for sale when the Ten Thousand Villages event was held in Yarmouth last fall. This year, a spring sale has been added. Scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, it will be held at Beacon United Church, same location as the fall sale. - Eric Bourque

Such was the response to last fall’s Ten Thousand Villages sale in Yarmouth that organizers have added a spring version of the event.

The dates are Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13, and the location again will be Beacon United Church, where the annual late-autumn Ten Thousand Villages sale has been held for years.

“This is a first,” said Tony Dorrian, a spokesperson for the Yarmouth Ten Thousand Villages event, referring to the spring sale.

“We were so encouraged by the success of the Christmas sale, we decided to bring another sale to our community.”

Depending on how things go with this new event, Yarmouth could be looking at having two Ten Thousand Villages sales into the future.

“If (the spring sale) is a success,” Dorrian said, “we will most likely add this second sale to our offering. We will always keep our Christmas show.”

The April 12-13 sale will feature handcrafted home décor and gifts made by artisans in 27 countries.

Purchases made during the sale invest in the lives of skilled artisans in Africa, Asia and Latin America, who receive a fair price for their work.

The hours for the Yarmouth event are 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 12, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 13.

Yarmouth’s Ten Thousand Villages fall event is held shortly before Christmas, just in time for people who may be shopping for holiday gifts.

The most recent edition, which took place last Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, marked the 16th year the sale was held in Yarmouth.

The roots of Ten Thousand Villages go back to 1946, when Edna Ruth Byler, a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) worker, was in Puerto Rico, visiting volunteers who were teaching sewing classes in an effort to help improve the lives of women living in poverty. Once she was back home, Byler filled her car with their embroidery and hit the road, selling their work at churches, parties and sewing circles. The concept of fair trade – and Ten Thousand Villages – was born.

MCC Canada continues the tradition in this country, “providing vital, fair income by selling the handicrafts and telling the stories of the people who made them,” the organization says. “Ten Thousand Villages works with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. This income helps pay for food, education, health care and housing.”

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