With the start of cold, rainy weather Holiday Market temporarily replaces Eugene’s outdoor Saturday Market. It’s held inside at the Lane County Fairgrounds and 2012 is the market’s 43rd season! Beginning this Saturday, November 17th, doors are open every weekend until Christmas Eve.
Many local vendors and artists participate in the historic market and consider themselves a “living organization”, living in the present but honoring the past. Customers get personal attention and it’s a fun place to meet friends, browse for unique handcrafted gifts, enjoy a variety of “culinary delights” in the international food court, and listen to live music. The market’s friendly artisans are incredibly talented and when you purchase their products money goes back into the local community.
This year I will spend time volunteering at some of Friendship with Cambodia’s (FWC) holiday market functions. FWC helps disadvantaged people start new self-sustained lives and sponsors poor children attending school. Their crafts are fair trade and hand-made in Cambodia by poor women and landmine survivors. Proceeds support humanitarian projects and help survivors of landmines, AIDS, sex-trafficking, and extreme poverty find a means of obtaining an education and earning a living through sustainable social and economic reintegration.
This week FWC is participating in the Holiday Market in the lobby at the Slocum Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. November 23 – 25 they will participate in the International Gift Market at Fifth Street Public Market Courtyard. FWC and Women’s Opportunity Worldwide (WOW) join other vendors and nonprofits to give local residents a wide array of socially conscious gifts for the holiday season.