Loving Hands bring crafts to ULV
December 12, 1997
photo by Alen Zilic
Competing with mass producers, artists from more than 40 under-developed
countries have an opportunity to show and sell their work. Loving Hands
Gifts International, a non-profit volunteer organization, helps these people
earn an income. These handmade objects were exhibited for sale, with the
support of the La Verne Church of the Brethren, on Monday and Tuesday in
the West Dining Room. Dr. Sharon K. Davis, professor of sociology, takes
time to examine some of the objects.
For the past six years, the Loving Hands crafts store has come to the
University of La Verne campus with the Self-Help Program.
This past Monday and Tuesday, items crafted in more than 40 different
undeveloped countries were on sale in the West Dining Room.
"Our benefit is being able to purchase these homemade wares of
various people and their cultures. Their [makers of the products] benefit
is that they are getting the proceeds of what they make," said Self-Help
Program contact Debbie Roberts, Protestant campus minister.
Products for the store are acquired from Sales Exchange Refugee Rehabilitation
Vocation International (SERRV).
SERRV is a cooperative exchange group who finds oppressed societies
throughout the world and enables them to make and market a product to the
By working this way, SERRV is able to eliminate the middleman and markup
of prices and taxes according to a SERRV customer service representative.
SERRV does, however, make sure that the working environments for these
people are good and without child labor. This eliminates the worry of buying
products from an inhumane sweatshop.
The San Marcos, Calif., based store is sponsored by the Church of the
Brethren, and has already done more than 45 of the traveling craft shows
this Christmas season.
The profits made from the Loving Hands traveling craft show will go
to the store which, in turn, helps them support their local church.
Loving Hands salespeople work on a volunteer basis. The markup on the
goods is very minimal, and the majority of the profits are directed to help
support their church.
"The one important thing to remember is that out of every $1,000
worth of merchandise sold, it feeds a family of four in a developing country
for a year," said Loving Hands volunteer, Alberta Wood of San Marcos.
The main contribution can be clear by looking at last year's numbers
for Loving Hands: $170,000 that feeds 170 families of four in poverty-stricken
countries for one year.