NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Shoppers can help save young lives while giving unique gifts to loved ones this holiday season. Having pioneered the sale of greeting cards to raise money for vulnerable children, UNICEF has in recent years expanded its holiday offerings to include items from well-known brands like IKEA and Gucci, and life-saving items like vaccines. Those inspired to give a gift that gives back may visit unicefusa.org to learn more about the holiday offerings available this year.
UNICEF's Cards and Gifts Collection
UNICEF offers a beautiful collection of holiday cards and gifts for people of all ages. From home decor to jewelry and children's toys, a portion of each card or gift sold benefits UNICEF's work in developing countries. To shop online or to learn more about UNICEF programs visit unicefusa.org.
UNICEF boxed cards (from $10 to $20) are available for purchase online at unicefusa.org and at Pier 1 Imports, IKEA, Barnes and Noble and select Hallmark Gold Crown stores. Individual holiday cards (ranging in price from $2.50 to $5.99) are also available at Barnes and Noble and select Hallmark Gold Crown stores and retailers nationwide.
For all UNICEF cards purchased in Pier 1 Imports and IKEA, the retailers will donate 100 percent of the purchase price of each holiday card pack. IKEA will also donate an additional $1 per pack sold.
This year's holiday card collection includes the winning design from the annual Pier 1 Imports/UNICEF Greeting Card Contest. Designed by Kristen Fontana—age 12 from Staten Island, New York—the holiday card features children from various countries holding hands around a tree as a symbol of universal peace during the holiday season.
Pier 1 Imports began selling UNICEF greeting cards in 1985. During its 27-year partnership, Pier 1 Imports has raised more than $30 million for UNICEF. The annual Pier 1 Imports/UNICEF Greeting Card Contest began in 1992 as a way to help raise awareness among U.S. school children about UNICEF's work for kids around the world.
UNICEF Inspired Gifts
Inspired Gifts make for a unique gift option this season. Urgently needed items such as life-saving medical supplies, ready-to-eat therapeutic food, and polio and measles vaccines are delivered directly to children most in need around the world. Also available through Inspired Gifts this year is K.I.N.D: Kids in Need of Desks- desks for schools in Malawi through which you can pick one or more students up off the ground. In addition to desks, notebooks and pencils are also available for donations worldwide. What's more, for each donation of a UNICEF Inspired Gift your loved one will receive a card telling them about the Inspired Gift purchased in their name. For more information please visit inspiredgifts.org.
Both the IKEA "Soft Toys for Education" campaign and sales from Gucci's product collection benefit UNICEF's "Schools for Africa" initiative, which aims to provide millions of children with access to a quality education. There are currently 67 million children out of school around the world, 43 percent of whom live in Sub-Saharan Africa. This initiative is helping provide vulnerable children with the best possible start in life and equip them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to shape better futures for themselves and their communities.
IKEA "Soft Toys for Education"
From Nov.4 – Dec. 29, for every purchase from the "Soft Toys for Education" collection, the IKEA Foundation will donate one euro (approximately $1.30) to support UNICEF's and Save the Children's global education programs, including UNICEF's "Schools for Africa" initiative. In 2012, the expanded soft toy collection includes children's books, a new dancing ballerina pig, a spotted leopard, a grey circus seal and other colorful soft toys. Since 2003, the IKEA Soft Toys for Education campaign has generated more than $61.75 million and has helped more than eight million children in nearly 40 countries access a quality education. For more information, visit www.ikeafoundation.org.
For the fifth consecutive year, Gucci Creative Director and 2011 UNICEF Woman of Compassion honoree Frida Giannini has designed a special edition "Gucci for UNICEF" Boston handbag. This new version of the signature Boston handbag comes in alabaster micro Guccissima leather. Twenty-five percent of the retail price of each bag sold through May 2013 will benefit UNICEF's "Schools for Africa" and "Schools for Asia" initiative in Malawi, Mozambique, and China. Over the past two years, the "Gucci for UNICEF" bags have generated more than 2 million USD for UNICEF. The Boston Bag is available in Gucci stores worldwide and on www.Gucci.com.
In addition, Gucci has introduced the "GG Flag Collection," an exclusive line of t-shirts and accessories including handbags and wallets infused with the colors of different flags from around the world. Gucci will donate 25 percent of the retail price of each item sold from the Flag Collection to support UNICEF's "Schools for Africa" and "Schools for Asia" initiatives. Gucci, one of the leading corporate supporters of "Schools for Africa," is proud to be the first global corporate supporter of UNICEF's "Schools for Asia" initiative, which will help provide a quality education for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children across Asia and the Pacific. The Flag Collection will be available in Gucci stores worldwide and at Gucci.com through December 31.
Delta Air Lines
For those on the go, Delta Air Lines continues its 12-year tradition of offering SkyMiles® members the option to donate miles to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Visit www.delta.com/skywish to donate miles and find more information.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to save and improve children's lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. Visit unicefusa.org for more information.
SOURCE U.S. Fund for UNICEF