Church opens pop-up store for holidays

Store in downtown Menlo Park sells products from developing countries

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church has opened a pop-up store at 846 Santa Cruz Ave. in downtown Menlo Park to sell handcrafted products from developing countries daily through Dec. 24.

Church volunteers are staffing the store, open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Products from many countries include clothing and jewelry created by female artisans in Guatemala, many their families' only wage earners. Wastebaskets and several types of bags were made from non-recyclable plastics bought from trash-picking communities in Jakarta.

The store features sculptures and jewelry, made of discarded aluminum, copper, and glass, and created by street people in Nairobi's Haruma slums. There are bags sewn by Cambodian women.

Also for sale are beaded bowls formed in the Darogetti slums of Kenya and wooden bowls and salad servers made in Kenya, with profits used to buy school uniforms and haircuts for more than 200 orphans.

"When people buy our products, they'll be partnering with the poor, helping to empower them to make a difference in their needy communities," says store manager Robin Simpson.

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Like this comment
Posted by Honore
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Thank you, Menlo Pres! The "pop-up" shop is a wonderful idea! It directly helps people in impoverished areas in a way that encourages local industry AND it gives us in this anything-but-impoverished part of the world an opportunity to find unique, hand-made gifts. This volunteer-manned shop is a lovely example of the Christmas message of "peace on Earth, good will to men."

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