Peace Store announces holiday hours

Peace Store announces holiday hours


The Peace Store, Rockford’s community “nonprofit gift store,” announces extended hours for the holiday season now through Christmas. Shoppers seeking an alternative to the hustle and bustle of commercialized gift buying can come to the storefront at 623 Seventh St. weekdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Last-minute shoppers can even shop the store from noon to 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Friends and new customers come to the Peace Store each year for the experience of finding that unique, meaningful gift which is not mass-produced, but lovingly hand-crafted by global artisans. The Peace Store is one of a network of individual nonprofit and community stores across the country which specialize in supporting the work of low-income artisan groups in various countries.

These stores are known as “Alternative Trading Organizations (ATO)” and provide an important service by assisting these artisan groups to market their handmade goods to local holiday shoppers. The Peace Store carries an array of traditional and innovative cultural gifts from many countries including India and Guatemala; Pakistan; Ecuador; Mali; China; and the Philippines. Musical instruments, baskets, clothing and colorfully woven linens, table-runners, toys, masks and jewelry and much more fill the Peace Store with personalized gift items which are painstakingly sculpted, painted or woven by individuals.

Coming to the Peace Store is educational as well as fun. Shoppers find an amazing diversity of creativity expressed in the designs, colors and purposes of similar items from different ethnic origins. But shoppers can browse with the assurance that their purchases will help others and not support sweatshop labor. Most of the artisan groups that the Peace Store obtains goods from are connected to church mission organizations such as The Church of the Brethren and the Mennonites Ten Thousand Villages, and SERRV.

The Peace Store is an outgrowth of two other community groups: Sinnissippi Alliance for the Environment and the Rockford Peace & Justice Action Committee and is staffed entirely by volunteers. The store was started as a business experience or capital investment in 1991 by individuals who sought to create a responsible, yet fun “community” store.

The Peace Store is located at 623 Seventh St. and encourages you to come and do some holiday shopping. For more information, call 963-0233.

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