Holiday gift sale to help less fortunate

By Sheryl Cajka

Students can get into the holiday spirit this season by helping someone less fortunate than themselves.

The Baptist Campus Ministry is having its 15th Annual International Gift Sale, said Campus Minister Ruth Peterson. “This is the Judson Baptist Fellowship’s Christmas gift to the world,” she said.

Hand-crafted items made by refugees, handicapped and poor people from all parts of the world will be on sale, Peterson said.

The not-for-profit sale will be held throughout November and December from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday through Friday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday at the ministry, 449 Normal Rd.

About half of the revenue is given to these people, she said. The rest pays for the costs of preparing the items for sale, such as import duties and shipping, she said.

Peterson said she personally picks out some gifts from artisans and the others are purchased through relief and development agencies.

“I try to take about 100 percent from developing countries where poverty is a major issue or where this is an alternative to the opium culture,” she said.

Peterson also said she organizes the gift sale every year because it develops an awareness of skills of people in other countries.

“It retains skills that may die out,” she said. “People don’t realize the talents of people in other countries.”

In addition to feeding their families, Peterson said it teaches them self-respect instead of asking for handouts.

“This is a way to help people help themselves,” she said.

Some hand-crafted gifts include jewelry, linens, wall hangings, ceramics, Christmas cards and toys, she said.