This year, the Christ Episcopal gift shop will be selling a special collection of items from an organization called Threads of Hope.

"This organization empowers women in Peru so they can improve their lives," said Kathy Stites, co-manager of the gift shop.

The gift shop, run by volunteers from the church's women's group, will be selling purses, belts and other accessories, as well as stockings and other Christmas decorations, all hand-sewn by the women in Peru. The group heard about the organization through a parishioner, said Mardi Byrd, co-manager and president of the group.

"We are very grateful for your help with this work," reads a quote from one of the Peruvian artists. "The truth is, it is a great deal of help. My husband and son are very grateful for the textiles. We make them with much love. May God bless you."

Of the items the shop sells, 90 percent go back to the artisans, said Mrs. Byrd.

"(The women) can more than live on the wage, they help other people," she said.

The shop managers are expecting the sale to be a great success. Threads of Hope also partners with popular retailers, such as Neiman Marcus, they said.

"Each item is one of a kind," Mrs. Stites said. "We've already had some fighting over them."





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