On Thursday October 4th, Global Exchange opened its doors to our San Francisco office for our annual Open House / People Above Corporations (PAC) Super Party. The evening included dancing, activities, drinks, delicious food – and a Prize Drawing with amazing prizes.

Global Exchange members & supporters, staff & interns, friends & family all mixed and mingled the night away. Below  are some highlights of the evening, plus a photo recap. The complete set of photos is now up on our Facebook page.


Photo Booth Fun: We had a PAC (People Above Corporations) Super Pics Photo Booth, complete with props. The photos are on Facebook.

Prize Drawing winners announced: including our grand prize winner who received $1,000 towards a Reality Tour! Other prizes included a Wine Country package, Indoor Skydiving for 2 and a $200 gift basket from the Global Exchange Fair Trade store.

Thanks to all of the businesses that donated prizes for our drawing this year!

Beer and Wine: Thanks to Magnolia Pub & Brewery and Frey Organic Winery, guests enjoyed tasty spirits throughout the evening.

A Generous Surprise: Our Open House is a great time to engage with the community, AND to raise funds to support our work throughout the year. This year we were surprised with a generous matching gift donation, so for every dollar earned during the course of the evening, we were able to double it!
Food, oh, the food! Special thanks goes out to the local businesses that generously donated a wide array of delectable delights.

Plus, this was the first year Global Exchange staff and interns were invited to cook up their favorite dish to share with guests and boy did they deliver! Empanadas, muffins, bean salad, the list goes on and on. I made crab puffs:)


Staff Presentations: Global Exchange campaigners shared updates about their social justice work with guests, and GX Executive Director Carleen Pickard got the crowd excited about becoming Global Exchange members.

And this offer is still good> Join Global Exchange for $35/year and we’ll send you a gorgeous customized Global Exchange tote bag from Handmade Expressions women’s cooperative in India, a No-Nonsense Guide book and a bag of Equal Exchange chocolates!

Guests Voted! Open House guests were able to directly practice democracy at the event’s “Elect Democracy Voting Booth” where they voted on future projects for our Elect Democracy campaign. Results forthcoming!

New GEMS! We welcomed some new GEMS (Global Exchange Monthly Sustainers) to our growing network of supporters. It’s not too late to become a GEMS now!

Guests shared “What Democracy Looks Like”: We had a wall where folks could share their thoughts about democracy for all to see. We’ll be sharing some quotes from that, also forthcoming.



Tex (left) with Fair Trade Stores Director Jocelyn (right)

So there’s your handful of Open House highlights. I’ve attended many Global Exchange Open Houses, and this year was the best one yet. (I swear I don’t say that every year!)

Special thanks to all of our guests and volunteers for making the event such a success, along with all the businesses who donated food, drinks, and prizes. Hope to see some of you next year!

Now for the best part…PICTURES!!! You can view them all on our Facebook page here.


Zarah, Kylie and Ashley, your friendly Open House Greeters!


Arriving guests signing in at the front

Then the hugging began!

and continued throughout the evening!

People started meeting people…

and chatting away…

more chatting!

Then there was the food. Oh, the food!

there were all sorts of yummy things to dip and dunk and munch and nibble!

and refreshing, cold beer and local organic wine

Guests got to vote!

Some guests shared what they thought democracy looks like on our wall.

The Photo Booth was a lot of fun!

for lots of people!

Check out GX former staffer Sally dancing with GEMS (Global Exchange Monthly Sustainer) Tom last year, then re-enacting their dance again this year. What a hoot!

Global Exchange staff had the opportunity to showcase some of the work they are doing. Pictured: Dalit and Drea

Carleen got her soapbox (er, chair) moment to share with the crowd our $35 membership gift offer. (which includes that beautiful bag pictured on Carleen’s shoulder)

Hillary spoke about our Elect Democracy campaign and tools such as the Legislative SCORECARD pictured in her hand

Cosmo the dog made an appearance, along with his parents. (Click on this photo to check out his photobooth pic on Facebook, it’s pretty groovy!)

Zarah poses with Design Action friends who showed up in awesome form

GX Fair Trade Store staff know how to pose, and it shows!

Chandrika, Leslie and Jessica perfectly posing!

and finally, GX Executive Director Carleen Pickard shares a pic with former board member towards the end of the night.

Now that you’ve seen some of the great work we do (and how much fun we have doing it) I would like to formally invite you to join the Global Exchange family. Consider becoming a GEMS today. You won’t regret it.