Sidestep purchasing gifts from fluorescently lit aisles this holiday season and, instead, shop in a way that makes a difference. Choose hand-crafted artwork over bulk packages when you attend the third annual I Love Africa gift event Nov. 19 at Tampa Covenant Church. Encounter authentic African culture at every turn, table and booth showcasing handmade jewelry, found-object sculpture, cow-horn cutlery, clothing, fine art and much more. Satisfy stomach grumbles with regional eats while delighting in music and dance. Score unique gifts for the whole family while contributing to Africa TrAID, a self-sustaining project dedicated to the growth and development of artisans and coffee farmers in Uganda.
The project is a grass-roots program of One City Ministries, an organization founded three years ago by local couple Mike and Deb Gilbert. The dynamic duo created OCM after seeing first-hand the oppression and inequality suffered by Ugandans. The couple, committed to being part of the solution, agreed to sell artisan products in an economically independent community, free from the trap of donor-dependency. And it's working, with the fruit of the villagers' labor providing entrepreneurial training workshops, childhood education programs, first aid, necessary nutrition, and hope for tomorrow.
10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sat., Nov. 19,Covenant Church, Fletcher and Lake Magdalene avenues, Tampa. Free admission. For more information, visit onecity.ws.