Ten Thousand Villages celebrates women locally and globally with our 5th Annual International Women’s Day Awards on Friday, March 8th, 6-8pm at our fair trade store (1317 S. Congress). The Ceremony will be hosted by 2010 IWD honoree Sara Hickman, who will present awards to three finalists and a winner from each category. “Through actions and influence these women are distinguishing Austin as a city that’s leading in social change,” Store Manager Kitty Bird said. The Finalists are:
• Paige Hill – Founder, Urban Patchwork Neighborhood Farms
• Elisabeth Welsh – Program Director, Austin Youth River Watch
• Sarah Young – Youth Director, Discover Green – YEL
Finalists were chosen by a judges panel comprised of previous IWD winners and leaders in Austin’s nonprofit community: Brandi Clark Burton, Founder of Austin EcoNetwork; Meg Goodman Erskine, Executive Director of Multicultural Refugee Coalition; and Abigail Smith, Chief Animal Services Officer for the City of Austin.
“The judges had incredibly tough decisions to make,” Kitty said. “At the same time, it’s inspiring to learn about so many amazing women in our community who are making meaningful social impacts. This event is about celebrating all of them.”
For five years, Ten Thousand Villages has been celebrating and honoring women at this time of year. One day isn’t enough, so Ten Thousand Villages celebrates International Women’s Day for a week with cultural events and benefit shopping nights that support other nonprofits, culminating in the IWD Awards Ceremony on March 8th.
All events are free:
5-9 pm: Out of Africa
See Nobelity Project’s Building Hope documentary, enjoy traditional African food, and get 10% off all fair trade products handmade in Africa. A portion of all purchases supports local nonprofit Well Aware, which brings clean drinking water to rural villages in Kenya.
10:30-11:30 am: FREE Yoga Class! Courtesy of Mimi Curry at beradiantbliss.com
5-9 pm: South Asian Bazaar: Mehndi, Mandalas & More
Sari wrapping, henna art, music, food and 10% off all fair trade products handmade in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. A portion of all purchases supports Austin-based Tender Heart Foundation, which helps bring education and socioeconomic development to rural communities in Northern India.
5-9 pm: Latin America Romance
Come hear Latin American music performed live and get a 10% discount on all fair trade products handmade in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, Haiti, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras or Colombia.
5-9 pm: 1st Thursday on South Congress
Ten Thousand Villages stays open late for this popular monthly block party that lets Austin fly its weird flag. This event is about as Austin as it gets — don’t miss it!
6-8 pm: 5th Annual International Women’s Day Awards – Hosted by Sara Hickman! This night is all about celebrating women who have made exceptional contributions in our community and who make a difference in the lives of those around them. Limited seating; RSVP required: Facebook or email.
You may have seen our tweets, posts, etc. about our “Benefit Shopping Nights,” but have these left you wondering what exactly is a “Benefit Shopping Night”? And just who “benefits”? As we will be having Benefit Shopping Nights all this week leading up to our 4th Annual International Women’s Day Awards Ceremony on Friday, we thought this might be a good time to clear up how Benefit Nights work, while also featuring the non-profits we will be supporting throughout the week.
So, first things first: What are Benefit Shopping Nights and why should you be excited about them? For a Benefit Shopping Night, Ten Thousand Villages of Austin selects a local non-profit partner interested in raising some money and spreading the word about its mission. After setting a date, we both work to promote the event; at the end of the night the nonprofit partner takes home a percentage of store sales. However, while Benefit Shopping Nights are opportunities for local non-profits to do some fundraising, they are also opportunities for you, our customer, to learn about, connect with and support these non-profits. Well, AND to do some shopping at Ten Thousand Villages.
Now to answer the question of who benefits. We already know that the non-profits benefit at the end of the night by taking home some money, so this section will explain to you what the non-profits that will be here this week do with their money.
Monday, March 5: Austin Community Foundation & GivingCity Austin
GivingCity Austin is a magazine all about doing good here in the great city of Austin. As stated on its homepage, GivingCity “offers actionable community content with the goal of connecting more Central Texans to philanthropy and improving communication and collaboration across the community.” This effort has seen tremendous growth since its initiation in 2007 by Monica Maldonado Williams (who, BTW, is a judge in our 2012 International Women’s Day Awards) and Torquil Dewar, starting as as a blog and side project for Williams and transforming into a magazine that is distributed to almost 8,000 people via email and about 3,000 print readers in Austin and beyond.
GivingCity Austin is now a project of Austin Community Foundation (ACF), the non-profit for which Williams is Communications Director. ACF’s mission, according to its website, is to promote “philanthropy in Central Texas to improve the quality of life for all, for today and for the future.” ACF lives out this mission by working with Austinites with philanthropic goals in making funds.
Tuesday, March 6: Well Aware
On Tuesday, come out and support the Austin-based non-profit Well Aware, which provides life-saving water for those who have none. Founded in 2006 by Sarah Evans (who was nominated for an International Women’s Day Award this year!), Well Aware has installed 8 clean drinking water systems in rural Kenya, improving the lives of 45,000 people! As stated on its blog, “We are well aware that our responsibility to the communities in which we work goes far beyond the drilling of a hole. Over 60% of existing water wells in Kenya are currently not working due to NGO neglect. Our project planning and budgeting includes lifetime technical support, community oversight and development consultation.” Well Aware’s biggest fundraiser is its annual Shower Strike, which has been moved from hot-hot-hot July to April 22-29 this year. Shoppers can sign up to participate in the Shower Strike or make donations during this Benefit Shopping Night.
Wednesday, March 7: Austin Humane Society
Formed in 1952, the Austin Humane Society (AHS) is “Austin’s largest, longest-standing no-kill, nonprofit animal shelter,” according to its website. AHS works to promote the well-being and is dedicated to eliminating unnecessary euthanasia of dogs and cats. Some of its primary initiatives include:
- Innovative, life-saving adoption programs
- High-volume spay and neuter programs
- Engaging the community to be part of the solution
- Serving animals and people in times of crisis
In honor of International Women’s Day, we’ve asked AHS to focus the money it earns during this Benefit Shopping Night on getting lady kitties and puppies spayed!
International Women’s Day – Thursday, March 8: Austin Wildcats
The purpose of this Benefit Shopping Night is to raise money and awareness for the Austin Wildcats‘ 2nd annual Tournament for Hope (March 31-April 1, 2012), a two-day, all girls basketball tournament in which 100% of proceeds go to benefit Austin’s first facility dedicated to breast cancer treatment. More than 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life, and The Austin Wildcats is raising money for construction of The Seton Breast Cancer Center. Shoppers at this Benefit Night can purchase tickets for the Tournament for Hope.
So, as you can see, lots of people stand to benefit from your contribution through shopping during a Benefit Night! So come on down and support a group you feel passionate about, or spread out your shopping and support all the groups! Hope to see you soon
As we celebrate women all around the world for their passion, for their vote, for their drive to make a difference, Ten Thousand Villages has made it a tradition to recognize some of Austin’s changemakers, too. We’re now seeking nominations for our 4th Annual International Women’s Day Awards, which honor inspiring women changemakers in our community. Through Feb. 20, anyone can nominate local women leaders who are active in Humanitarian, Animal Welfare or Environmental efforts. Nominations are being accepted online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/G8H6B6Q and in person at our nonprofit store (1317 S. Congress, open daily). The Awards will be presented to three finalists and a winner from each category on March 9, 2012.
Exciting Update: This year’s Awards ceremony will be hosted by Tolly Moseley of Austin Eavesdropper fame! Tolly’s blog (http://thataustingirl.blogspot.com) has won “Best of” honors from The Austin Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, and Rare Magazine, and now she’s expanded to AETV.
Past International Women’s Day Award winners include: musician and social activist Sara Hickman; Amy Mills, EmanciPET; Jerri Conrado, Women’s Global Network; Niyanta Spelman, Rainforest Partnership; Maggie Miller, DiscoverHope; and Dr. Ellen Jefferson, Austin Pets Alive!
Do you know an outstanding local woman? Did you know that nominating her can inspire others to follow in her footsteps for good? You can help spark a movement! So spread the word and submit your nominations today. Hurry, the deadline is Feb. 20, 2012.
(L-R): Austin Eavesdropper Tolly Moseley, Carol Thomas of Caritas, Jim Estrada, and Barbara-Anne Mansfield from
Ten Thousand Villages at the fair trade store’s launch party for 2012 the International Women’s Day Award nominations.
For more information: 2012 International Women’s Day Awards
**Photos by Alice May Berthelsen**
Our State of the Austin Village Address is taking place THIS Sunday, October 2 6-7 pm in the store! This meeting is an opportunity for staff, volunteers, board members, and customers to come together and discuss the progress the store has made in the past year and look forward to great successes to come. In honor of this event, here is a look back at some great memories that we made together from 2010-2011.
First off, lets journey back to our great Holiday celebrations from…
Valentine’s Day 2010, to…
Holidayss 2010. This is always a wonderful time as the store fills with both customers and beautiful items unique to these times of the year. This past season was particularly special as we ventured out into Barton Creek Mall and tried out selling from a mall kiosk, which was certainly an interesting experiment in many ways! Most importantly, it was also a wonderful opportunity for us to get the word out about fair trade to many people who were completely foreign to the concept.
Another wonderful holiday celebrated here at Ten Thousand Villages of Austin was International Women’s Day, celebrated in March 2011. Above we have the finalists at our International Women’s Day Award Ceremony. The categories for this award included: Humanitarianism, Environmentalism, and Animal Advocacy.
Another important holiday celebrated this past year at our store is one not many may know about, but surely quite a few would love it if they were to learn of its existence: World Chocolate Day…
This holiday, which takes place in September, was celebrated at our store with a competition between our volunteers. They each brought in their favorite fair trade chocolate recipe, and customers voted on their favorites. Ganache, anyone?!
Although holidays provided for great times in the store, we didn’t limit ourselves to just those designated days of celebrations! Here is a look at some of our Special Events from this past year…
Here we have our lovely ladies of the One Reason Why Planning Committee. One Reason Why was a fundraiser put on at The Gallery Black Lagood where we auctioned off some of our most impressive pieces. 2011 was our first year to have this fundraiser, and it was a huge success… We raised $5,000! Our 2nd Annual One Reason Why Fundraiser is coming up on October 27th… check out our website for more deets!
What a better way to celebrate World Fair Trade Day than with a Fair Trade Wine and Chocolate Pairing led by a professional sommelier? A HUGE thanks to Artworks Gallery for hosting us AND to Tolly Moseley from Austin Eavesdropper for the wonderful post she wrote putting our event on the map. We had a wonderful turn out and definitely hope to continue the fun next May!
Of course, we couldn’t celebrate World Fair Trade Day in May with just ONE event… we had to have 2! For our Annual Fair Trade Film Festival, we had a “Global Market” complete with music (i.e. the GREAT band picture above, Wino Vino), great vendors, and fun activities. We also showed documentaries that promote fair trade values, and had a panel of experts to engage festival participants in a dialogue between each movie. It was an incredibly enriching educational event– thanks to all who participated!
And last but not least, we can’t forget about the activities of our wonderful staff and volunteers! A VERY important day from last year was Inventory Day…
For Inventory Day, we shut down the store for a day and COUNTED like there was no tomorrow! Inventory Day 2011 = mission possible!
Although our volunteers and staff clearly know how to work hard, they can definitely play hard too! This was evidenced by our monthly social hours to some great places like Doc’s, Boticelli’s, Sno-Beach Hawaiian Shaved Ice, and Third Coast Coffee to name a few!
So as we can see, 2010-2011 was a FANTASTIC year here at Ten Thousand Villages of Austin, and we hope for an even better year to come! To hear more about our wonderful year passed, and our great year to come, don’t forget to attend our Annual Meeting Sunday, October 2 6-7 PM in the store. Hope to see you there!
(Written by Alyssa Haney, Ten Thousand Villages of Austin’s Social Media Intern)
Many of you might already have been aware that last Tuesday, March 8th was International Women’s Day and hopefully all of you celebrated it to its fullest! Naturally, not only did Ten Thousand Villages of Austin want to be a part of the fun that people around the world were partaking in, we decided to extend the party through the entire week! Monday – Thursday, the store hosted 1 local Austin-based non-profit each night and between the hours of 5-9 PM, and over $300 of the store sales went directly to the non-profits! Each organization that we hosted had the opportunity to raise awareness about incredibly powerful causes geared towards women’s issues. Check out our impressive Benefit Night lineup:
The Austin Wildcats is a preparatory basketball training program for boys and girls in grades 4th through 11th from Austin and the surrounding area that prepares kids to play competitive basketball in Middle and High School and to compete in life after basketball. The purpose of their Benefit Night at the store was to raise money and awareness for their Tournament for Hope (April 16th), where 100% of their proceeds will go to benefit the Seton Medical Center Breast Cancer Center.
DiscoverHope creates dignified solutions for women in poverty through their Microcredit Plus Model. By combining loans with learning, they provide access to credit as well as access to knowledge. They believe that women in poverty have the potential to lead and to take charge of their lives. The impact of these efforts positively affects communities for generations, creating a legacy of hope.
GirlStart is a non-profit organization created to empower girls to excel in math, science, and technology. They have quickly established itself as a best-case practices leader in empowering, educating, and motivating girls to enjoy and become more proficient in math, science and technology. Girlstart offers a variety of educational formats designed for girls, adults, and families through after-school programs, workshop series, summer camps, Expanding Your Horizons, and free community events.
Dress For Success promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
But wait… there was more!
On Friday, we hosted our 3rd annual International Women’s Day Award Ceremony where we honored local Austin women who had astounding accomplishments in the areas of Humanitarianism, Environmentalism, and Animal Advocacy.
Of course it wouldn’t have been a proper celebration without scrumptious cake donated by Coco Paloma Desserts.
We enjoyed delicious wine provided by our kind neighbors at Botticelli’s.
We grooved to the eclectic music provided by The Sangeet Millenium Ensemble.
Then, of course, the International Women’s Day Ceremony would not have been complete without recognizing the award winners!
Amy Mills (winner of this category) has been the Executive Director of Emancipet since 2006, which offers low-cost and free spays, neuters and basic wellness care to pets. Amy has also spent many years teaching a dog manners class at the Austin Humane Society. Amy mentors other communities across the nation interested in emulating the Emancipet model and has celebrated amazing milestones like reaching over 100,000 surgeries at Emancipet and 10 years of service to the community.
Dr. Ellen Jefferson joined Austin Pets Alive! in 2008 as Executive Director and in the first year the killing of homeless pets in Austin was reduced by 20% with over 7,000 animals rescued and over 6,000 adopted through APA. Ellen also founded Emancipet in 1999 and directed that organization for nine years. Before that she worked as an emergency room veterinarian and volunteered at the local animal shelter. Since 2008, Ellen has been the Mayor’s appointee to Austin’s Animal Advisory Commission.
Sheila Smith founded Shadow Cats Rescue in 1997 and currently serves as board president. Community cats are of special interest to Sheila, and she has committed countless hours and a driving passion towards improving their lives. To date, Shadow Cats has sterilized over 3,000 cats, placed over 500 cats into adoptive homes, feeds over 400 cats per day and manages several feral colonies. In addition, the group provides long-term care and hospice for feline leukemia positive cats at the Sanctuary.
Dawn Perkins, who currently serves Austin’s homeless as Community Relations and Volunteer Manager of Front Steps/Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH). Dawn manages volunteers, contributes to development and communications, and educates the public about homelessness in Austin. And when resources run low, Dawn digs deep: she has been known to serve hot chocolate to people sleeping outside on freezing nights when ARCH is out of room.
As the Austin Branch Leader of the Women’s Global Network for the past two years, Jerri Conrado (winner of this category) has given many hours to the local community and the global community as well. Jerri sponsors a FREE monthly Sunrise Breakfast for new members and guests to get an insider’s look at the organization and meet new connections. Through these events, many women are introduced to the world of microfinance and exposed to critical issues that concern women across the globe, which is especially important at the annual Global Business Partners fundraising event where the group welcomes contributions from local business women of $200 to provide micro-loans to women in underdeveloped countries.
In 2006, Maggie Miller founded DiscoverHope, which is an international development nonprofit providing microloans and training to women in developing countries living on less than $2 a day. Since 2007, DiscoverHope has funded more than 325 loans and 800 development classes for 1,900 participants who have asked for trainings related to traditional literacy, health education, business, culinary, computer, artisan skills and more. The loan recipients have reported more than $9,000 in new income generation directly related to skills and knowledge obtained in the classes – which cycles directly back into their families and communities. Maggie is an extraordinary leader who inspires everyone to give their greatest strengths to the world.
Cindy Allsbrooks (not shown), a longtime advocate for recycling, came up with the idea for Keep Bastrop County Beautiful and is now the organization’s Board of Directors Co-Chair. In Fall of 2008, Cindy started a petition drive in hopes of gaining popular support and in 2009, a group of citizens came together to form Keep Bastrop County Beautiful with a mission to promote recycling and environmental awareness in Bastrop County. In two years, the county now offers curbside recycling to many residents, a Christmas tree recycling effort became available to all residents, school recycling programs are in place and a recycling drop-off facility now exists in the county. Cindy encourages all to join and help with inspiring individuals and businesses to improve our communities and the natural environment.
Niyanta Spelman has been extensively involved in the local community. She is a founding member of Livable City, and Executive Director of Rainforest Partnership. She is dedicated to protecting tropical rainforests from deforestation in collaboration with local communities, and creating a connection between those communities and communities in the U.S. in order to raise public awareness of the role of rainforests in climate protection. Her nonprofit now teams with rainforest communities in Peru and Ecuador to protect ecosystems by providing forest-friendly means of earning money.
Susana Almanza (winner of this category), Co-Director of PODER, People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources, is a native of East Austin. She is a former member of the City of Austin Environmental Board and former Planning Commissioner for the City of Austin. She has worked for a number of years to protect her East Austin neighborhood from hazardous industrial developments, including a tank farm, waste-recycling facility, a metalwork and casting plant, chip fabrication factory, and power plant, which due to zoning, dating back to 1931, had allowed and encouraged many of these incompatible facilities to be sited in her residential neighborhood.
It is no doubt that International Women’s Day is a wonderful time to not only show appreciation for the accomplishments of the amazing women in your life, but also to renew personal inspiration to “incorporate giving into everything that you do.”* THANK YOU to all of the women out there that do wonderful things (small and large) to make our world a better place!
*On a completely unrelated note, this quote was taken from a speech that Blake Mycoskie, Chief Shoegiver of TOMS Shoes, gave at Southwestern University last week (ironically given on International Women’s Day 3/8). The story of how he started TOMS Shoes was completely inspiring and I found that this quote is relevant on many different levels.