Houston, Texas (NAPSI) - When you buy handmade crafts from Third World countries, you are doing so much more than just shopping: You are helping people in these countries support their families, gain dignity and develop their villages while maintaining their ancient cultural traditions. You’re giving back to the world.

One place to get such sought-after treasures is Worldstock Fair Trade, Overstock.com’s socially responsible department. From the Overstock.com website, you can get beautiful,Third World, handmade crafts, furniture, home decor and jewelry while helping many artisans in destitute regions. These unique products come from over 50 countries, where thousands of artisans are improving their lives, their health, the educational systems and local communities.

Through Worldstock, Overstock.com provides international market exposure for artisans’ unique product offerings and the opportunity for customers to support and preserve these artisans’ valuable cultural heritage and traditions. Consider handmade goods from the rural suburbs ofKathmandu,Nepal. While some of these artisans work in shops, most of them produce these goods in their homes. About 20 families inKathmandu sell goods through Worldstock. This has allowed for one of the artisans, Dipak, to sponsor and fund several Modern Newar English Schools in the area.

InIndonesia, Jumanah lived in a 430-square-foot home with 15 other relatives. Jumanah performs finish work on furniture made of local woods and sold on Worldstock. Through her work, she has been able to earn enough money to build a separate house for her own family.

Among the almost 20,000 unique gift ideas on Worldstock are handmade bronze singing bowls from Nepal, whose sound vibrations aid concentration and bring a Buddhist influence to the home; handcrafted brass and copper hammered cuff bracelets from India designed by Kirti and his blacksmith family from Nagpur; wooden, hand-carved walnut oil twist stools from Thailand created by Khun, who learned how to carve wood from her father, who learned from his father; and leather messenger bags from Colombia that help women from a poor and violent neighborhood work their way out of that vicious cycle.

Worldstock returns between 60 and 70 percent of the sales price on each item to the artisans, double the customary amount returned by most importers. So far, nearly $100 million has gone to artisan suppliers of Worldstock goods. Over the years, Over stock.com has also donated Worldstock profits to charities such as Solace International that support international humanitarian efforts by bringing schools, clinics, drinking water and sustainable cottage industries to artisan communities in Afghanistan, Colombia, Nepal, Malawi, Liberia, Guatemala, Ghana and Kenya.

In addition, all Worldstock orders come with Carbon Neutral Shipping at no additional cost to customers. This process balances the carbon emissions of shipping to promote clean energy and reforestation. All orders over $50 ship free.

You can learn more and see all the items available at www.worldstock.com.