By Samantha Iacone

During the holiday season, it is easy to purchase gifts from a store without thinking about where they came from. Have you ever thought about buying gifts that not only put a smile on someone’s face but also give back to a charitable cause? For example, you purchase a gift that your aunt will love but purchase this also donates money or services to a local charity. Bryant’s Social Change Marketplace does exactly this. Together we have created a group of people, rather, a community of students who work together to encourage our peers and locals to purchase products that cultivate a social impact. Our mission is to create a pop-up holiday marketplace for vendors whose products are social impact-driven.

This is the 3rd annual year of this event on campus. In recent years this event was known as Giving For Good, however, we are excited to announce the changing of our name to Social Change Marketplace! Our committee is excited to kick off this year’s event on campus; the following social enterprise and non-profit vendors with being represented: Beautiful Day, YANA, Conscious Step, Ivory Ella, Riverzedge Arts, Oh So African Designs, EbenGroup, Pure Haven, Higher Ground International, etc. Many of these vendors have returned each year and have products ranging from handmade jewelry, socks, chocolate, and coffee. Each purchase provides services such as catering and gardening, or these profits will address needs like hunger, poverty, and refugee settlement. These purchases will aid organizations in continuation to complete the goals set out in their missions which you can locate and read more about on our website: socialchangemarketplace.com

The National Retail Federation estimates that American consumers will spend $680 billion during the 2017 holiday season. As the holiday season is right around the corner, we encourage you to shop locally and with the purpose this holiday season. Imagine the impact these dollars could have if we channeled some of them to buy gifts that embrace a social mission! Please join us in the celebration of social entrepreneurship and learn more about this mission at our event in the Rotunda on Thursday, December 7th from 10 am to 2 pm.

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