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UNICEF Inspired Gifts: Gifts That Save Children’s Lives

UNICEF Inspired Gifts is a year round program that provides tax deductible gifts that you can purchase yourself, or in the name of others, that provide the gift of nutrition, vaccines, medicines, educational, social, and other much needed items to people in need in the developing world. Gift items fall under one of six categories:  Education & Play, Nutrition, Water, Immunization, Health and Emergency.  By purchasing an inspired gift, you can provide children around the world with the things they need like school supplies, vaccines, mosquito nets, water purification tablets, therapeutic food and milk, first aid kits, among other things.

You can purchase UNICEF Inspired Gifts in your name, or you can give them in someone else’s name.  When you give inspired gifts in the name of others they will receive a card stating what was purchased in their name.  It’s the perfect gift for the person who has it all and is in the true spirit of the holiday season which has an emphasis on giving, rather than receiving.

In addition to specific gifts through UNICEF, you can purchase UNICEF gifts or cards.  The purchase of one box of UNICEF cards can provide 4 doses of measles vaccine, can prevent blindness in 80 children and can save 11 children from dehydration.  Cards for any occasion are available including Christmas and Holiday and a new card personalization option is now available.  Cards can be purchased at IKEA or Pier 1, where 100% of the proceeds go to UNICEF.  Hallmark also sells boxed and single card sets where a portion of the proceeds go to UNICEF.

In addition to supplies and cards, UNICEF offers candles, scarves, ties, jewelry, frames -  all stylish artesan gifts made in developing countries. Proceeds from the purchase of these gifts goes back into UNICEF programs.  UNICEF has also teamed up with other companies including IKEA for the soft toy movemement.  From November 1 – December 24, 2010 IKEA will make a donation to unicef for every IKEA soft toy sold.  From December 18 – December 24, 2010, for the first time ever, every purchase in the IKEA kids section will provide a donation to UNICEF.  IKEA is UNICEF’s biggest corporate sponsor and in the 7 years the program has been going on, IKEA has donated 31 million dollars.

Other corporate sponsors include Gucci, which has donated 9 million dollars to UNICEF programs.  The new Gucci campaign featuring Jennifer Lopez and her children kicked off with a 1 million dollar donation to UNICEF and twenty-five percent of the retail price of each Suki handbag sold will go to UNICEF.  To date, Gucci has donated 9 million dollars to UNICEF and is developing a schools for Africa program.  Another sponsor is Feed, bags designed by Lauren Bush.  The purchase of each product gives a measurable donation:  the purchase of a large bag provides nutritional sprinkles for 3 children for one year; the purchase of a small pouch provides for 1 child for a year.  Feed bags are made by artisans in Guatemala are sold at lord & taylor.

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Images photographed and post co-written by Kimberly Jefferson

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