WE ARE ONE COMMUNITY
MarketPlace has always been about caring for our community. In these difficult times, we continue to be committed to you and to the artisans in India. This challenge will bring us together as human beings. We are taking all precautions to keep our employees and artisans safe. Shelter in place is in effect in India, Illinois and Maryland, and we have had to make certain accommodations and sacrifices in how we work. Some of these changes will affect your orders in the near future, and are outlined below. We are in constant contact with the artisans and staff in India and will keep you informed. Click here to visit our blog for updates anytime.
TAKING YOUR ORDERS
Customer Service representatives are working from home and will be available during our regular business hours to help you with your order or to answer any questions you may have. Call 800-726-8905 or email email@example.com. As of March 23, our Customer Care hours are Monday through Friday 9 am to 5:30 pm EST. You can also continue to place orders on our website at any time of the day.
SHIPPING YOUR ORDERS
Our warehouse is shipping orders that are in stock. We are taking appropriate measures in accordance with CDC guidelines, such as frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, social distancing and disinfecting common surfaces. Warehouse staff shifts reduced or staggered and work stations are far apart to allow for social distancing and decrease contact.
If your order is out-of-stock, we urge you to place your order so that we can confidently tell the artisans that when they return to work, there will be enough to do.
Returns will take longer to process so please bear with us. We are also extending the time for returns, from 30 days to 60 days.
THE SITUATION IN INDIA
All of India is under lockdown for 21 days from March 24. Our offices are closed, as are the cooperatives. Shelter in place is in effect and all local and national transportation has been discontinued. This is particularly challenging for the women as they must stay indoors in small (typically 10' x 14') homes, shared with their husbands and children. There are no toys, art supplies or other activities to distract and amuse the family members.
To help out, we are putting together age-appropriate projects, games and teaching aides to assist the women in engaging with their children. This is a good opportunity for the fathers to bond with their children as well and we are making a list of ideas to facilitate that. Since there is at least one person in each family who owns a cell phone, we have started a phone chain. Each member calls at least 3 women every day and encourages them to call one another. It's a great way to check in and cheer up!
In addition, since the women are unable to work at this point, we are putting together an emergency package to help out with basic food necessities such as rice, wheat, lentils, oil, sugar, etc. The women appreciate this, but they would really rather work and earn, in true Dignity not Charity fashion. They are most anxious to get back to work and will put in every effort to make and ship all backorders.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE, SUPPORT AND GOOD THOUGHTS
The artisans are ready to go as soon as this situation resolves enough to allow it. Please give them the opportunity to do so by ordering now. Although you will not get your purchase right away, we will be able to concentrate on making the products that you want and getting them shipped to you as soon as possible.
Please be well and take care of yourselves. The artisans, staff in Mumbai and Chicago send their very best wishes in this very troubling time. Together, we will get through this and make a better world.