A Valentine’s gift that could save someone’s life

| January 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

This year, if you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day gift for a family member or friend, you may consider giving chocolate — it just might help save someone’s life.

That sounds like an exaggerated advertising slogan dreamed up by your local candy store, but there is truth to the claim.

Buying fair-trade chocolate — or other fair-trade items ranging from coffee to clothing to jewelry — improves the lives of families in need in some of the poorest parts of the world.

“When you buy fair-trade gifts of chocolate and crafts, you help build economies, families and communities,” Carolyn Woo, the president of Catholic Relief Services, pointed out in a recent email to supporters. “Buying fair trade means that artisans and farmers receive fair wages. It means that children will not be exploited.”

CRS’ fair-trade partners include SERRV and Equal Exchange. When buyers purchase from them, the CRS Fair Trade Fund receives a contribution, which is used to make grants to people in the United States and around the world to help build more just and sustainable workplaces.

In a letter written earlier this year on the eve of the Group of Eight industrialized nations’ annual summit, Pope Francis said that both politics and economics “must set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom, with the possibility of supporting a family, educating children, praising God and developing one’s own human potential.”

Fair-trade programs help families do exactly this.

To find out more about such programs and how to purchase fair-trade items this Valentine’s Day and year-round, visit CRS’ fair-trade website.

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Category: Editorials