There was no air conditioning or hot water, and electricity was only available at night, but Jean Donaldson knew what she was getting into when she took a learning tour to Haiti and the Dominican Republic with eight other volunteers, staff and board members from the fair trade store Ten Thousand Villages. During the March trip, the group met with artisans whose handcrafted wares are sold in the Carytown store, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
“You just get such a sense of the country and the actual people,” Donaldson says. In a Haitian stone-carvers village, a tour participant asked one of the artisans what message he would like them to take back. “He said, ‘Tell them that people in Haiti are peaceful and we’re working hard. We’re not what you see on TV,’ ” Donaldson says.
The Carytown store is one of 390 nonprofit locations in the United States, as Richmond Magazine points out.
Photo: Stylin’ News