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Author Archives: Vijita Kumar, UNICEF USA

This Valentine’s Day, Give an Inspired Gift

UNICEF Inspired Gifts

— Last weekend I thought of a sentiment that sums up Valentine’s Day perfectly for me: “Love grows with sharing.” As you think about getting the perfect gift for your Valentine, what better way to share your love than to give a UNICEF Inspired Gift. Inspired Gifts are real items like therapeutic milk, books or soccer balls, that go to help children around the world. Once you’ve selected your Inspired Gift, you can choose an eCard or a printable card to announce the gift made in honor of your Valentine and how it will be shared to help kids around the world.

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Helping children in Syria cope with violence and loss

Syrian refugee children attend a remedial class, in a child-friendly center, in North Lebanon.

— Sixteen months after the start of the unrest, assaults against civilians, human rights violations, mass arrests, torture, and execution-style killings of families, including children, continue to be a reality in Syria. To protect children from the ongoing violence and to help them regain a sense of normalcy, UNICEF and its partners are providing humanitarian assistance to families caught in Syria, as well as to those who have fled Syria to the neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq. Getting displaced children back to school is a central focus of UNICEF’s efforts. School is not only important for educational purposes but also for children to make friends and develop routines to help them cope with trauma and loss. Despite repeated calls for an end to the violence in Syria, children continue to suffer as a result of the crisis. As more and more families flee the country, UNICEF urgently requires additional funding to be able to reach more Syrian children in need in the region.

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The Sahel crisis by the numbers: An inside look

Click here to view this infographic

— The children of the Sahel are closer than you think. We are not hundreds but thousands of miles away from the unraveling crisis threatening the survival of 1 million children in the Sahel! I can feel the pain and the impossible choices that families thousands of miles away continue to face each passing day and the urgent assistance they need. Colleagues and partners in each of the eight country offices in the region diligently collate and share updates of the situation on the ground. UNICEF offices across the world receive Situation Reports or as we say in internal speak SitReps describing in great detail the first-hand on-ground realities and needs. The situation reports are our information lifeline.

These internal reports continue to be delivered to our inboxes and continue to warn us of the worsening situation and the need for urgent immediate aid to save 1 million children.

To really give you a sense of what’s happening on the ground I wanted to share a SitRep covering all the eight countries and the overall situation.

We thank you for helping us sound the alarm but our work is far from done. We need your support to continue to raise awareness for the crisis and to help ensure the survival of the 1 million children standing on the brink of death and disease as a result of the food and nutrition crisis.

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No ordinary Valentine’s Day card

Send a UNICEF Inspired Gift and this special Valentine card to honor a loved one.

— Every Valentine’s Day my husband takes me out to dinner. This is our tradition, our way of celebrating the occasion. I do believe he has the easier task – make a reservation for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, and he’s all set. I, on the other hand, have the challenging task of finding a perfect gift for him. What makes it more challenging is that he does not like receiving gifts – so a fancy tie or another pair of cufflinks just doesn’t do it. All I end up giving him is a Valentine’s Day card thanking him for being my valentine. But this year, he will be getting no ordinary Valentine’s Day card. I plan to give him a very special UNICEF Inspired Gifts Valentine’s Day card for a gift made in his honor to help provide nutrition to 50 children. No, it’s not a traditional Valentine’s Day gift. It is not a substitute for the dinners, flowers or chocolates that we all want for the occasion, but it is a way to make the occasion even more meaningful by sharing your love in a way that has a life-changing impact on children lives’ around the world.

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A winning design–yours!

— Pier 1 Imports and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF are searching for their 2011 official UNICEF Holiday Greeting Card design!

If you are a creative kid age 14 or younger ( that’s super easy–right?) and want to be a part of UNICEF history (absolutely!) send us your original hand-drawn interpretation of “Making Spirits Bright.” The entry form is available online at www.pier1.com and at all Pier 1 Imports stores nationwide. The winning design will be reproduced for this year’s holiday season and will be available at Pier 1 Imports stores nationwide, with 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the winning card going to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to help children around the world.

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Valentine’s Day: more than a dozen roses

— UNICEF Inspired Gifts are actual lifesaving products that you can buy and your gift will be sent to one of the 150 countries where UNICEF is at work. Your purchase is so much more than a symbol of your love.

Let them know that they really do mean the world to you. Please browse the Inspired Gifts website for ideas and gifts.

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