City store donates $75,000 to cyclone survivors in Asia



robin kuniski/for metro calgary


Rose Morton of 10,000 Villages shows off many of the hand-crafted items from the women in cyclone-stricken Bangladesh that are sold in the store.


Helping hands heal — at least that’s the message one local store is sending after donating $75,000 to Bangladesh cyclone survivors.

Located on Crowchild Trail, 10,000 Villages on Crowchild Trail is donating the money to help women artisans who survived Cyclone Sidr — the worst to hit the tiny Asian country in more than a decade.

Another aspect of the generosity is the store is donating the money back to the women who handmade many of the arts and crafts the store sells here in Calgary, according to the board of director’s chair.

“A lot of these women lost everything, their houses and two of them lost their husbands. They are the sole providers in their families and have to start the process of rebuilding,” Charlene Baker told Metro.

Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh last November causing more than 3,400 deaths and forcing three million people from their homes.

For several years the local business has donated a portion of their surplus to an artisan development fund, but this year the board has decided to donate the entire $75,000 account to the survivors in the Agailjhara region of Bangladesh.

“We just felt it was a way to contribute back and help them with their plight. It only costs $330 there to build a house from start to finish and that’s so little to us here in terms of cost so we want to help build houses for them.”

Many of the Bangladeshi women’s arts and crafts can also be purchased at the store.