One Reason Why: A Fair Trade Art Show

Ten Thousand Villages staff and volunteers were excited to celebrate our first One Reason Why Fair Trade Art Show and Fundraiser at our new location. Now a Fall tradition at the store, this year’s fundraiser was incredibly important – the recent store move from South Congress to Burnet Rd rendered the store deficient of the funds necessary to fulfill our mission at an optimal status. So, the aim was to throw a One Reason Why that was bigger and better than ever!

Those that walked into the store that Friday night were greeted by Come Drum for Fun, percussionists performing live drumming to welcome attendees. Guests made their way through the store, getting a sneak peak of new artisan-made holiday ornaments, and proceeded to the outdoor which housed our multi-attraction fiesta.

Delicious, local refreshments were enjoyed from Fork and Taco, Noble Sandwich, Pinthouse Pizza, 416 Bar and Grille, Gusto and Phoenicia Bakery; drinks were flowing courtesy of King Liquor, Crown Imports, Independence Brewing Co and Beatbox Beverages; silent auctions were bid on and fiercely monitored; art work from around the world was enjoyed and purchased, and ears were delighted by the sounds of Manuel “Cowboy” Donley and his daughter Sylvia, and the Rattletree School of Marimba.


Sylvia and Cowboy Donley


Rattletree Marimba








Later, energy soared as live auction bids bounced around the tent, with ex-volunteer Andrew Bost of Bost Benefit Auctions getting the ball rolling by auctioning of glass of water for $100!  Eyes darted around as guests competed for the Date Night for a Year, Wine and Chocolate Pairing, Theater Trifecta and Wine Tasting Day Trips. Excitement peaked as guests fought for our grand prize, a Bird Watching Adventure in Chiapas – and we can’t wait to hear our winners’ travel stories!


Kitty sharing the stories of basket weavers in Bangladesh

The climax of the night was Executive Director Kitty Bird getting on stage to share her one reason why she supports fair trade: artisan empowerment. Everything that was auctioned, purchased, and donated helps Ten Thousand Villages support our artisans around the world. These artisans are the motivation for this event, for Kitty’s speech, and for everything we do at Ten Thousand Villages. We are so grateful to those who bought art and auction items, and to those generous Paddles Up donors who pledged funds to support work into 2016 and beyond.

The store aimed to raise $15,000 at One Reason Why, and by the grace of those who came out to the event, who purchased art and auction items and donated in Paddles Up fundraising, Ten Thousand Villages was able to outperform our goal by $10,000, totaling $25,000 in funds raised! These funds will allow the store to reestablish financial security, fairly trade more handmade goods, and ultimately support more artisans to live empowered lives.

Thank you to all who attended, and for those of you who missed the event, we look forward to seeing you in store soon. Check out the full album of photos from the event on Flickr or Facebook – thanks to Luke and Stephanie for volunteering to photograph!

Thanks again to these major sponsors of One Reason Why who gave freely to Ten Thousand Villages, for our Artisans:

512 Transit
Spectratech Sound/Lighting Systems
Total Wine and More

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