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Published December 7th 2012
Image courtesy of UNICEF Australia
Christmas is the time of year when we spend quality time with our families and friends, and shower them with love and presents.
That's the reality for many of us but unfortunately not for everyone in Australia and around the world, for whom the festive season is just another day of struggle to make ends meet, feed the family or simply to survive.
As I searched for the "Best of Xmas" for readers and myself, I realised that one of the best ways to create precious moments and put smiles on the faces of loved ones, was to do something good together this Xmas.
I exchanged notes with Emeline Suteau from the Victorian Division of United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA VIC) and we believe we found something worthwhile doing from UNICEF.
Apart from the United Nations' (UN) World Humanitarian Day reminding us to do something good for someone else, this festive season, UN's Children Fund or UNICEF is asking Australians to buy a gift that would make a real difference in a child's life instead of the usual presents from department stores and supermarkets.
Bohdana Szydlik of UNICEF Australia shared with me that more than 56 per cent of Australians received at least one unwanted gift last year. So this year, her organisation is asking Aussies to give good with a UNICEF Inspired Gift from a catalogue including polio vaccines, nutritional health supplements, educational tools, baby weigh scales, water pumps and bicycles. These gifts are actually life-changing charity items distributed to children around the world who need them most.
A gift of Polio Vaccinations will protect 200 children against this deadly disease for AUD34.
Children's educational story books for AUD11 will help a child with his or her basic education and offer another step out of poverty.
A baby weight scale costing AUD35 will help UNICEF field workers to identify underweight babies who need nutritional help to get healthy.
AUD63 buys 150 sachets of therapeutic food supplements that may be the difference between life and death for malnourished children.
School-in-a-Box is a portable education kit with resources to teach a classroom of children for AUD220.
A water pump at AUD466 will introduce a water source into a community, thereby reducing the hours needed by children to carry water while aiding agriculture and preventing water-borne diseases.
When you buy a UNICEF Inspired Gift, a gift card will be sent to your intended recipient, outlining what you have sent to the field and how it's helping the children in crisis situations. So get your family and friends together, select something this Christmas from UNICEF by clicking HERE.