Local farmers market helps refugees

Refugee women make items to help make ends meet

By Alicia Barrera - Multimedia Journalist, Azian Bermea - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - Across town on the weekends, you may stumble across numerous farmers markets that promise quality goods.

Nestled in the middle of a busy shopping center in north San Antonio is the Huebner Oaks Farmers Market, with more than a dozen vendors offering products that include fresh food, honey and salsa, and there are also unique handmade items that serve a bigger purpose of providing a safe home for some women in San Antonio.

Every Saturday, under a white tarp, you'll also see Jean Sherrill sitting in a chair surrounded by handmade items.

“Here at the market we're selling crafts that have been hand made by women who came to San Antonio as refugees,” Sherrill said.

Sherill works for the Center for Refugee Services located at 8707 Wurzbach Road.

“The (women) come to our sewing classes and then they're able to make the products at home with donated sewing machines,” Sherrill said.

All items are on consignment. With $10 or less, those who visit can purchase kitchen accessories, beaded pens or ornaments or perhaps one of the more popular hand stitched products: a coin purse.

“We have about 25 women who have something here to sell,” Sherrill said. “Thankfully, we have one or two women who actually get about $100 a month.”

Each sale helps the refugee women come closer to reaching the American dream of a safe home for their families.

“When something sells, they feel like somebody cares about them. Somebody cares enough to purchase their item,” Sherill said.

In support of their mission, the Huebner Oak Farmers Market has allowed the organization to have a booth free of cost from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, but they need more volunteers. For more on how to get involved, visit their website.

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