Items for sale at Ten Thousand Villages include puppets from India, housewares from Vietnam, and baskets from Bangladesh.
With the help of 50 volunteers, the store eliminates the middleman by traveling to and buying handicrafts from developing countries.
The products are paid for up front, giving third-world families money for food, health care and education.
"In a lot of cases, it's the difference between being able to send at least one of their children to school or not. Sometimes they're able to send all of their children to school, both girls and boys," Elizabeth Altman, executive director said.
The store is a melting pot of cultures and religions. Some decorations were made in India by Christian, Hindu, and Muslim women.
"It's ironic that some of them may never use these decorations in their faith and backgrounds, but it's something that brings them together," Altman said.
Ten Thousand Villages does half its annual business during the holiday shopping season. It appears many people like the idea of giving a gift that gives twice.
"It gives a gift that is unique to you and it gives the gift of income to someone far away," Atlman said.
Ten Thousand Villages is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
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