Bracelets from Cambodia, tote bags from Kenya, scarves from India and hand-stitched dresses from Thailand are just a few of the items that can be found at New Horizons Church this Friday.
Church members have been working hard to bring these products to the community, giving them a chance to not only shop for the holiday season but to change the lives of women and families across the world.
This idea began when ladies from New Horizons attended a leadership summit conference earlier this year. During one of the breaks, Paige Davis spotted a shopping area called The Marketplace set up at the church.
“I walked over to a table and picked up a bracelet. It was obviously handmade and when I looked at it, I saw the words ‘For Freedom’ stitched inside of it,” said Davis. When she asked what it meant she found out that the words represented freedom from human trafficking in Cambodia.
She purchased one for each lady in her group that day.
The Marketplace is a nonprofit ministry with 24 partnerships in 13 third-world nations, creating jobs by providing the poor a way to sell their products. Each product in The Marketplace has a story. For example, a tote bag from Cambodia might have been made by a victim of human trafficking.
“We have no idea what it’s like to suffer, to wonder where our next meal is coming from or if we have a roof over our heads,” Davis said. “This is our chance to shop with a purpose, to help decrease human trafficking, prostitution and other exploitation.”
The New Horizons women decided to contact The Marketplace and see if they could bring their products to Radford. Neither the church nor the Marketplace receives a profit; all money goes directly to the artisans. Davis sees this as an opportunity to affect the lives of families in third-world nations for generations to come.
“We can change the entire lineage of a family just by purchasing a scarf they made. Everyone wants to make a difference and this is one way to do it,” she said.
The Marketplace will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday at New Horizons Church at 1014 Tyler Ave., Radford.