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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Buy a donkey this Christmas and save someone's life

Oxfam Unwrapped
Oxfam America Unwrapped

Every year, millions of people in the developed world spend vast sums of money on Christmas presents. New computers, new MP3 players, new books, new socks; shops are packed with folks trying to choose something for Aunty Ann, whilst struggling to support the weight of the many carrier bags they've picked up that day in a bid to complete the Christmas Shopping.

Their friends and relatives will of course be happy to receive whatever gift they have been bought, even if it is not something that they asked for. It's the thought that counts afterall.

Think back to last Christmas. How many presents did you receive that you really needed? How many presents have had a huge impact upon the quality of your life this past year? The chances are, not that many. Can you even remember what you were given?

Just imagine if every one of those presents had been a Godsend, something that actually made the difference between living and dying. The difference between having a roof over your head, and being out on the street.

Well, this year, every one of the presents you give and receive CAN be that important. Every present CAN be the difference between having enough food to survive, and dying. In fact, every present can make a huge difference not just to the life of one person, but to the lives of a whole family.

Oxfam Unwrapped 2006 has just been launched, and has a huge range of gifts that will make a huge difference to some of the poorest people on the planet.

How does it work? You go to their website, you select your gift, you enter your details and yoru friend's address. They receive a card with a photo and details of your chosen gift, plus optional Fair Trade Chocolates or another small gift Fair Trade gift of your choice. The donkey / goat / essential medicine is sent to those who desperately need it to survive, really giving them something to celebrate this Christmas.

There's something to match everyone's budget: just £6 will provide school dinners for 100 children. £18 will provide safe water for 25 people. For £24 you can buy a goat (my romantic choice for *Twinkle* last year). £50 will buy you a friend for Bob the Donkey, whom I bought for my family and friends last year. Training programs, medicines, entire classrooms; they are all desperately needed.

Your money, which may otherwise go into the pockets of the shareholders of Woolworths, Dixons and Debenhams, can make a huge difference to the lives of many people, who otherwise may not even be able to enjoy a clean glass of water for Christmas, let alone a turkey.

Oxfam Unwrapped
Oxfam America Unwrapped

We forget just how lucky we are, in our comfortable homes with running water and a Tescos just around the corner. It's quite horrendous to think what crap we spend our money on at Christmas - what is it they say? 10% of UK waste is produced in the 7 days between Christmas eve and New Year's Day...

Help to make the world a fairer place. Don't ask your family for socks, ask them to save someone's life.

They may be out of sight, but that's no excuse to keep them out of mind.

Oxfam Unwrapped
Oxfam America Unwrapped

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