Bridges of Hope is a mission of First United Methodist Church. We are located at 601 N. Main Street, Door G in Mount Vernon, Indiana (near College Ave and the playground). Bridges of Hope was established in 2006 by a dedicated group of volunteers committed to empowering artisans by providing a dependable and fair market for the selling of their handicrafts. The goal is to promote meaningful lives for the artisans of developing countries around the world and to sharing stories of mission and social justice in the world.
As a member of the Fair Trade Federation, Bridges of Hope is committed to promoting the social and economic progress of people in the developing regions of the world. Bridges of Hope purchases fairly traded products produced by artisans and farmers to ensure that Fair Trade principles are practiced.
The mission of Bridges of Hope is to provide a Fair Trade market for producers in developing regions of the world by purchasing fairly traded products produced by artisans and farmers who are in partnerships built on trust. Sharing the stories of mission with our customers allows us to share the love of Christ and link our mission to the Gospel and to God’s call for social justice.
The primary focus of Bridges of Hope supports artisans in developing regions of the world through sustainable economic practices by purchasing fairly traded products produced by artisans and farmers. Bridges of Hope joins Christ in His mission that integrates discipleship, evangelism and social action, and works toward both spiritual and social transformation. By supporting the artisans and their families through sustainable economic practices, Bridges of Hope provides resources for better health care, education, and safer living conditions, while restoring a sense of hope, joy, dignity and self-respect when one’s work and gifts are recognized by others.
Bridges of Hope sells Fair Trade baskets, jewelry, scarves, accessories, home décor, Fair Trade coffee, tea, and chocolates, nativities, ornaments, toys, games, musical instruments, gift cards, and more. By purchasing Fair Trade products, you become a part of a worldwide movement that cares about restoring social justice and self respect for the artisans and farmers.
What is Fair Trade?
Fair Trade is an alternative way of doing business – one that builds equitable, long-term partnerships between consumers in North America and producers in developing regions.
Fair Trade means an equitable and fair partnership between marketers in North America and producers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and other parts of the world. A fair trade partnership works to provide low-income artisans and farmers with a living wage for their work. Fair Trade Federation (FTF) criteria are:
- Paying a fair wage in the local context.
- Offering employees opportunities for advancement.
- Providing equal employment opportunities for all people, particularly the most disadvantaged.
- Engaging in environmentally sustainable practices.
- Being open to public accountability.
- Building long-term trade relationships.
- Providing healthy and safe working conditions within the local context.
- Providing financial and technical assistance to producers whenever possible.