CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Shoppers who enjoyed the annual fair-trade sales at First Presbyterian Church in Charleston can now buy those items throughout the year.
The church recently opened Hope Village, a year-round, fair-trade shop inside the church on Leon Sullivan Way.
The shop sells handmade jewelry, shawls, woodcarvings, baskets and other items.
All the proceeds from the sale of the items support artisans in different parts of the world.
The church has hosted Global Market, an annual fair-trade shopping event, for at least the past 10 years.
"We felt like it was time to bring the store to the community," said Sue Webster, director of mission outreach for the church.
In the past three years, the church has shifted the focus of Global Market to building relationships with representatives from the organizations that sell products.
"Now we have a relationship with the people who have started those nonprofits," Webster said. "Because of that, we are able to have a very good understanding of who the artisans are, what their hardships are and directly how the money is impacting their lives."
The products are sold by nonprofit organizations that support the artisans.
India-based Rahab's Rope, for instance, helps girls and women that have been victims of sex trafficking. The organization provides a safe shelter for rescued girls and trains them in a trade, such as making jewelry or shawls.
"Each organization is like that," Webster said.
Mary Kay Boyle, director of Global Market and Hope Village, said Maya Works is one of her favorites of the eight organizations represented at the shop. The organization is based in Guatemala, where she used to live and where two of her grandsons were adopted.
Besides supporting the artisans who make items that include purses, Christmas ornaments and wall hangings, the organization has a micro-loan program and helps fund schooling for children. It also regularly tests the artisans' eyes and provides glasses if need be.
"It's not only paying for the products, they additionally do things to help the families," Boyle said.