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12 Days of UNICEF: Day 12, Maria Canals-Barrera

12 Days of UNICEF: Maria Canals-Barrera

— One of my fondest Christmas memories was being in Texas with my husband’s large Christian family. One of my sisters in law played the guitar and the whole family (my father in law still in his Santa suit) sang Christmas carols & hymns (in both English and Spanish) to the DELIGHT of us all, especially the 16 grandchildren! This year, I’ve chosen to participate in UNICEF’s annual holiday campaign, which includes a wonderful collection of gift ideas including UNICEF’s cards and gifts. Every UNICEF card or gift you buy helps benefit children around the world. I especially like their 3-Piece Musical Set, which includes kid-sized maracas and a tambourine made of hand-painted wood. It reminds me so much of the way my family celebrates the season.

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12 Days of UNICEF: Day 11, Alvin and the Chipmunks

12 Days of UNICEF : Alvin and the Chipmunks

— The holiday season is finally here, and with it the memory of all the happy times we’ve shared over the years. Well, happy for some of us. Alvin likes to sneak downstairs and open all the presents before anyone is awake, just so he can put the best ones into his stocking. He thinks we don’t know, but his paw prints give it away. Simon finds it difficult to concentrate on holiday memories with Dave yelling “Alvinnn!!!” all the time. And then there’s Theodore. His favorite holiday memory is when we moved in with Dave for the first time and became a family. Awww…

Speaking of family, as your own family comes together this season, we’ve got a great idea how you can make it even more special.
UNICEF has a wonderful program called Inspired Gifts where you can buy actual lifesaving items in honor of a loved one that are then sent to children in need in any of the 150 countries that UINICEF works. So why not buy a UNICEF Inspired Gift for your loved ones and help save kids’ lives this holiday.

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12 Days of UNICEF: Day 9, Lauren Bush Lauren

12 Days of UNICEF : Lauren Bush

— I’ve gotten to travel to Guatemala on behalf of UNICEF and have seen up close the work UNICEF does in providing children with the basics they need for survival. Still, inadequate sanitation, lack of safe water, malnutrition, and other causes continue to claim the lives of 21,000 young children every day around the world. What’s even more startling is that these are causes we know we can prevent. If you, like me, believe the number of children dying every day from preventable causes should be zero, you can help UNICEF save children’s lives by purchasing an Inspired Gift this holiday season. Multiple Micronutrient Powder, for example, is packed full of vitamins and minerals to give children the essential nutrients they need to thrive. Just $18.72 buys an impressive 561 sachets, and it only takes one sachet of this powder sprinkled over a child’s meal to keep that child safe from malnutrition.

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12 Days of UNICEF: Day 8, Lucy Liu

12 Days of UNICEF: Lucy Liu

— A big part of my Holiday celebration as a kid was making homemade snowflake ornaments cut out of construction paper and stars made of popsicle sticks and glitter. The holidays were always a time for creativity and I never skipped the chance to explore.

Because education is so important to me, you can imagine how happy I was to learn that UNICEF offers children around the world opportunities to learn, even during periods of crisis. UNICEF’s “School-in-a-Box” kit – one of UNICEF’s Inspired Gifts available for purchase this holiday season – contains books, pencils, erasers, scissors and even a radio that help provide a temporary school for children in the midst of war, natural disasters and other emergencies. What’s really cool is that the aluminum lid of the box doubles as a blackboard.

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IKEA brightens children’s futures this holiday!

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— Attention last minute holiday shoppers! Are you looking to give a present that also makes a difference for children? Then you’ve come to the right place. This year, you can give a gift you feel good about.

Now through December 24, when you buy a soft toy at IKEA stores, you are helping to give a child a brighter future. Through its annual “Soft Toys for Education” campaign, IKEA continues its long-standing partnership with UNICEF by helping to provide children with access to a quality education.

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Inspiring night at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball

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— I had the opportunity to attend the UNICEF Snowflake Ball in New York City at Cipriani 42nd Street this year with another flight attendant Champion for Children, Martin Beltran. This was such an amazing event. Under the twinkling lights and the mosquito netting there was a lot of beauty in the glamorous guests dressed up for the night, but there was also the inner beauty shining in those who give their time and money to make a difference in the lives of children.

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