BY SHERI TRUSTY
A summer Lakeside resident has opened a store that is bringing dignity to women around the world. Cassie Davis, who lives in Logan most of the year, opened Gifts That Give Back (GTGB) in Lakeside in April. GTGB is a fair trade store that sells the handmade creations of over 90 artisans from 35 countries.
“Our mission is to provide dignified work for artisans around the globe and in the States,” Davis said.
The work helps keep women from the desperate situations that befall them as they strive to provide for their families.
“A lot of bad stuff comes with poverty – human trafficking and babies become orphans,” Davis said. “If you can provide a woman with a job, you can change the whole family unit.”
GTGB sells a wide variety of handcrafted merchandise.
“I try to do everything – clothes, jewelry, home goods, kids’, women’s and men’s,” Davis said.
The shop is filled with the bright colors of cloth and jewelry made in Africa and India.
“Some of the darkest places you can be – they bring the brightest colors to us. It’s a beautiful image of the way God works,” Davis said.
GTGB in Lakeside is Davis’ second shop. The original GTGB is operated in Logan. The Logan shop opened after the concept of providing dignified work to women grew heavy on Davis’ heart. A few years ago, Davis and her friend, the late Carrie Crawford, invited the women in their Bible study to collect items for Syrian refugees. That first act of ministry led to two stores.
“I felt like God was speaking to me,” Davis said. “He was saying, ‘You are called to love your neighbor, and your neighbor is everyone.’”
Those words hang on the wall of the shop, a visual reminder of the mission of GTGB.
“I’ve never been a missionary, but you don’t have to be called to missions to love people,” Davis said. “In the West, we’re so blessed. In our worst predicament, we’re so much better than the Third World, and there’s even sex trafficking in my backyard in Columbus.”
Wherever women need help finding dignity and a living wage, Davis wants to reach them with a way to provide for themselves and their families.
“My husband and I are subcontractors for a living. We consider this our mission,” she said. “If you have a longer table, you should share with others.”
GTGB is located at 209 W. 2nd St. in Lakeside. It is open on occasion in the winter months. The Logan location, which is open Monday through Saturday, is located at 66 E. Main St. in Logan. For more information, visit www.giftsthatgivebackevent.com.