(Locator: Tacoma, Wash.)
It began over a cup of coffee. Members of Tacoma First United Methodist
Church decided to serve Fair Trade coffee at fellowship time, and later
offer beans for sale.
Nat: “Five dollars. Thank you.”
It has grown to an entire Fair Trade store.
Susan Dobkins/Tacoma First United Methodist Church: “It’s a model of
global trade which takes into account that profit can’t be our only
The “Ends of the Earth” gift shop gives the community a way to see the
faces and hear the stories of workers around the world.
Robert Ewing/Store Manager: “A lot of the women are single moms whose
husbands have died of AIDS. Some of them have AIDS.”
These baby clothes are made by women in Ghana who call themselves the
Robert Ewing/Store Manager: “But then when you see what this has done
and given them – a lifeline. And none of this is charity. It’s all on a
competitive market, but they’re guaranteed a living wage out of it.”
To be considered Fair Trade, people who make the products must receive a
living wage, have safe working conditions, and not use child labor.
Robert Ewing/Store Manager: “This allows kids to go to school, you know,
instead of working 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Every transaction is raising the consciousness of customers.
Mary Lynn/Customer: “I think ultimately it’s the consumer and the
consumer’s choices that will change things in this world.”
The store is small, but this church hopes its impact on workers around
the world will be great.
Because the store is just getting started, the church still supports it.
Eventually, store profits will help expand the church’s Peace with
For more information, contact the
First United Methodist Church of Tacoma at 253-627-0129.