Pope Francis has offered us a message encouraging us to actions that reflects a commitment to dignity and respect for all workers.
As the Advent season approaches, gift giving becomes a priority for those of us in the Christian community. There are many ways to shop with a conscience supporting values we hold dear. There are Fair Trade stores and alternative gift fairs encouraging donations to honor a relative or friend. And several cities in North Carolina have programs encouraging local employers to pay living wages. These communities certify and maintain a list of merchants who meet the standards. So to support fair wages you might consider shopping at these stores.
In Asheville/western NC, the Just Economics campaign has a long list of certified employers.
In Durham, the living wage campaign has more than 40 certified employers.
In Greensboro, Greenville, and Orange County, efforts are underway to support living wage employers, but certification standards are not yet complete. If you live in one of these communities, encourage this effort.
What better gift can we give the Christ child than shopping where workers receive dignity and fair wages?