JoMC 711 – Writing for Digital Media

November 12, 2006

Module 12 Assignment

Filed under: Uncategorized — by cinranker @ 10:51 pm

Draft a press release on behalf of your organization.


Cindy Ranker
Grateful for Grace Lutheran Church



Grateful for Grace Lutheran Church opens unique store

Carroll City, MD, November 12 – The Reverend Kathy Miller, pastor of Grateful for Grace Lutheran Church, unlocked the door of 125 Main Street this morning amid cheers from her congregation.  It signaled the first day of business for Grateful Gifts, a church-sponsored store that sells fair trade items such as handicrafts, candy and coffee.  It is the only place in the community where fair trade products will be available for sale.

Grateful Gifts is located next to the church and will be staffed by volunteers from the congregation on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Miller is excited about the timing of the opening, “We weren’t sure we would be able to open in time for the holidays, so opening this early in the season is a real joy.”

The day began with a worship service at the church and continued with a blessing of the store before Miller opened the door.  Many community leaders, as well as congregation members, enjoyed free samples of the candy and coffee.

Asked about how unusual it is for a church to open a store like this, Miller said, “Recently the congregation became interested in how they could help stop the cylce of poverty in developing countries.”  A group of  members researched several organizations and decided to recommend to the congregation that it participate in a fair trade program.  “Once that decision was made, the idea took off,”  Miller commented.

The church is trying to be diligent in keeping costs at a minimum.  Michael Rison, a member of the congregation, owns the property where the store is located and offered to let the church use it at no cost.  Congregation members and local businesses donated paint and furnishings to help spruce up the store before the opening.  Since volunteers will also staff it, it is estimated that all proceeds will be used to benefit the fair trade programs.

Grateful Gifts will specialize in selling fair trade products in cooperation with Lutheran World Relief (LWR).  LWR is a non-profit agency based in Baltimore and is sponsored by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  The agency began during WWII, addressing the needs of countries devastated by the war.  Since then it has grown to provide relief services to those affected by natural disasters around the world and to help provide long-term solutions to poverty.

One of the ways the agency has decided to tackle poverty issues is by partnering with Equal Exchange and SERVV International to provide fair trade products.  Currently there are three available through LWR: handicrafts, coffee and candy.  By purchasing fair trade products at Grateful Gifts, customers are participating in a system that is trying to combat poverty by promoting fair wages, environmental rights and women’s rights.

According to LWR, the fair trade products are traded under internationally accepted fair trade standards and are monitored by organizations such as TransFair USA.

“The food products we sell are really quite good,” said Greg Jones, congregation president, “and the handicrafts that are sold are very unique and reasonably priced.  We hope the community will think about purchasing some of their Christmas gifts here and help fight poverty at the same time.”



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