A friend of mine from Raleigh never visits Durham without suggesting that we stop at One World Market.
Like a lot of unique attractions in the Bull City, this Ninth Street shop calls to someone like Connie who is addicted to unusual earrings and off-the-wall gift items. But One World Market is appealing because all its items are fair traded, everything from the beautiful Oriental-style handmade rugs to those wild and wonderful earrings. All are created by talented people in 74 developing countries, artisans who don’t have a local outlet for their labor.
Shopping at One World Market reflects Connie’s commitment to supporting justice issues here in North Carolina. A couple of years ago when the Moral Monday effort was just getting cranked up, she was among one of the first waves of protesters to get hustled off to the pokey. She was 82 at the time.
Why didn’t she wave from the police van?
“I couldn’t,” she said later. “My hands were handcuffed behind me.”
(Now here’s a good example of making sure dangerous people are not allowed to run the streets unrestrained!)
That’s our Connie, a Duke University graduate with a master’s degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary, daughter of Presbyterian medical missionaries to Thailand and a peace-loving wife, mother and grandmother attending church at Raleigh’s White Memorial and living on a tree-lined street in the Capital City with her husband, a lawyer, now retired from the attorney general’s office.
For the record: Our group of friends has not let Connie’s rendezvous with the Raleigh police and the ensuing court case interfere with our friendship.
We decided early on that having lunch with a jailbird might be a bit out of the ordinary for us, but, hey, it’s a new experience. Older Americans need a diversion from cliche topics like husbands (or lack thereof), children, grandchildren, hearing aids, cataracts, arthritis, hemorrhoids, varicose veins and cold feet.
But I digress.
Back to One World Market.
The shop has announced a Tent Sale, the biggest of the year, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
The store’s regular merchandise will be featured along with gently used fair-trade items. Prices on store merchandise will be slashed up to 90 percent, says April Ravelli, director.
Look for one-of-a-kind items under the tent, including a $250 hand painted glass lamp, priced at $40; and a $300 hammock from Nicaragua, priced at $50.
Other bargains include dresses from India, normally $100, now $10; dozens of baskets from Bangladesh and Uganda, starting at 50 cents; jewelry, with earrings starting at $2 and necklaces at $4; and table linens, including a hand-blocked print for $15 that normally sells for $80.
Coffee and chocolate will be out for shoppers to enjoy.
The market staff is now looking for ways to help artisans in Nepal as they rebuild after an earthquake on April 25 and an aftershock two days later. Ravelli said all of these artisans were left homeless and a health clinic was destroyed.
When shopping on Saturday, be sure to ask volunteers to tell the stories behind some of the items being sold. These are always interesting and inspiring.
‘Fast Willie’ visits
Retired football player Willie Parker volunteered at the Durham Rescue Mission one day last week. He sat in for a Victory Class with the men and helped serve a meal to homeless men at the Center for Hope.
Parker was a member of two Super Bowl championship teams while playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers. “Fast Willie” holds the Super Bowl record for the longest touchdown run from scrimmage of 75 yards.
After his retirement in 2012, he became assistant coach for the West Virginia Wesleyan College football team. Born in Clinton, he played football at Clinton High School and at UNC before his career with the Steelers.
“When volunteers come to the Mission they have no idea what an impact they have on the men, women and children staying here,” said the Rev. Ernie Mills, executive director.
“The simple act of serving a meal shows someone cares and that little bit of encouragement can be a light at the end of a long tunnel and lead to the mending of shattered lives.”
Because of last week’s high daily temperatures, the Mission launched its Operation Cool Shelter on June 15.
When temperature reaches 95 degrees or above, or the heat index gets to 100 degrees or above, the mission opens its doors to all at risk of heat exposure. Staff and residents go out to warn homeless people of the pending danger.
“If you are homeless or in need of a cool place to stay during this extreme heat, come to Durham Rescue Mission, 1201 E. Main St., for safe, cool shelter, plenty of fluids and food,” said Mills. “Escape the black asphalt that compounds this extreme hot weather. Our cool lobby is open to all, and we will provide water to ensure adequate hydration.”
The monthly meeting of the NAACP will be held at Pilgrim United Church of Christ, 3011 Academy Road, at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 28.
Playground in Haiti
In the summer of 2013, Chapel Hill High School senior Allie Parker went on a mission trip to Croix de Bouquets, Haiti.
Allie worked in an orphanage called Yahve Jire Children’s Foundation, which is home to 21 children. Because the orphanage was damaged in the earthquake of 2010, they are in the process of building a new orphanage at a different location.
“I was so moved by the kids at Yahve Jire," she said. “They are always so happy and they love to play. I realized how lucky I have been to have a good education, food on the table, and a safe place to play.”
Although it seems impossible to do anything meaningful to help them, Allie decided to do something small. She has been raising money to provide them with a playground. As she says, "a safe place to play and a place to be a kid just like I had."
Allie traveled with the same group from Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Raleigh to build that playground this month. “We have already raised $3,000 to build a steel frame and a wooden platform,” she said. “We still need $1,000 for swings, climbing rocks, a slide, and sand.”
As of Saturday, they had raised $250 with 57 days left. They are taking donations at bit.ly/1K2gYXl
You can reach Flo Johnston at email@example.com or call 910-361-4135.
About One World Market
One World Market was started in 1991 in the basement of Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham to tremendous sales. The Mission Group at Watts Street began to dream of a full-scale, non-profit retail store. On September 16, 1992 OWM opened for business in a brick and mortar store located on Perry Street. As a non-profit, OWM focused on providing fair wages to low-income craft persons. In 2001, OWM moved to its current location, at 811 Ninth Street.