PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. (WMBD) – Nestled in the backstreet off of Prospect Road, you’ll find a small shop that’s making a big difference.

Rebecca Carey is one of about 40 rotating volunteers that have been running Global Village since 2002. It’s a local non-profit where fair trade is the name of the game. 

Founder Nancy Long, along with some of her friends, made it their mission to improve the world. After hosting a series of garage sales, there came the funding for the humble beginnings of Global Village. That was 20 years ago.

Now, the non-profit partners with about 30 countries, including Kenya, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Vietnam, the Philippines, India and Nepal. The organization promotes the fair treatment of artisans and builds close-knit relationships with them. 

“The standard speech is fair trade guarantees a living wage for the person who made it. Nothing’s produced in sweatshops or with forced labor,” said Rebecca Carey, a volunteer and board member of Global Village.

“We’ve done a lot of good for a lot of people all around the world and that is really exciting.”

Rebecca Carey

Economic and social justice are at the core of everything sold at the shop: from jewelry, kitchen wear, pottery, coffee, and woodwork knickknacks. Every product has a purpose: to empower the people making them. 

“So we know you know if we buy from a Fair Trade Federation member that we’re getting the real goods,” said Carey. “It’s not somebody saying, ‘Oh here, buy this product and make these little kids happy.’ We know that money—that they’re getting fair pay. They also get a bonus that they can use in their community to improve what’s going on.”

Carey said, “It’s a really close bond that develops.”

On July 13, 2022, Global Village will celebrate 20 years in operation. The non-profit is always looking for extra volunteers to help around the store. Global Village is located at 1308 E. Seiberling Ave.
in Peoria Heights.