I love theTen Thousand Villages Store on Marion Street in Oak Park. Every time I visit the shop, I discover a great find – a cute, inexpensive necklace, a beautiful tablecloth, a cookbook, a gift for a friend, a little toy… Many shoppers many not realize that the store is largely staffed by volunteers. Ten Thousand Villages is a 501 (c)3 store, and one of the world’s largest fair trade organizations. Their mission is to provide artisans in underdeveloped countries a fair wage so they can live a sustainable lifestyle. Volunteers are needed for sales, office staff, maintenance, committees and computer assistance. Generally, a six month volunteer commitment is needed. Volunteers are asked to work eight hours a month. Complete orientation and training is provided. To learn more about this opportunity, stop by the store at 121 N. Marion Street to fill out an application, or contact them at volunteersvillages@gmail.com, or call (708)848-4572. Volunteers who contribute eight hours of their time per month will receive a 20% discount on merchandise.

Ten Thousand Villages needs some extra help around the holidays.  So check out this volunteer opportunity – it’s a great cause and a great group of volunteers (and a generous volunteer benefit – the chance to see all the new merchandise in the store and get a discount on it!)

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Born and raised in Miami, Joanna Skubish has been calling Oak Park home for nearly a decade. Although she misses the Sunshine State in February, she is constantly warmed by the generosity of her community....