Every year at this time we are bombarded by toy catalogues, Christmas displays which have been collecting dust on store shelves since October and a steady chorus of “I want, I want, I want!” at each passing shiny object.
It’s easy to get caught up in the so-called ‘spirit of the holidays’ as we rush around from one store to the next, Christmas carols fa-la-la-la-la’ing in our heads on a continuous loop, snapping up the latest gizmos and gadgets.
And while we, too, will certainly fall victim to yet another must-have LEGO set or some funky Minecraft paraphernalia, this year, we are adding a very special luxury item to our shopping list–something that can literally change a child’s life: UNICEF Survival Gifts.
Last week UNICEF gave my family the exclusive opportunity to unBOX Possibilities. This was such a great learning moment; a chance to initiate a conversation with my own kids about the impact these Survival Gifts will have in the lives of children and families in need. They eagerly opened up the beautiful blue box and, one by one, removed the luxury items they so often take for granted: truly life-saving gifts.
Please take a moment to watch this video and then read on to discover just what each of these gifts means to the life and well-being of a child in need.
unBOX POSSIBILITIES with UNICEF’s Survival Gifts
It is amazing to be able to touch, feel and taste some of the Survival Gifts that make their way directly to the people in the field from the warehouse in Copenhagen as soon as you make your online purchase.
Feel It: Baby Blanket
This simple cotton blanket is anything but ordinary. It is absolutely lovely. Big, soft and cozy this blanket will shield a baby, keeping it safe and warm. Can you imagine not having a blanket in which to wrap your newborn? This is a wonderful gift for a mother and her child. And for only $22 you provide three babies with a snuggly welcome!
Taste It: Plumpy’Nut®
“Mmmm…this is good!” This was the declaration from my peanut butter fiends who enjoyed the bar so much, they rationed it right down to the last tiny square. I tried it, too, and I’m not surprised my kids enjoyed it. The texture is softish so it is ideal for very young children. Can you believe that just three packets a day of this deceptively simple, sweet and tasty peanut-based snack will help a malnourished child gain up to two pounds in one week?
As we’re busy planning holiday celebrations full of snacks and goodies for our little ones, this is such an important reminder of how $10 can give malnourished children food just to survive.
Sip It: Therapeutic Milk
If you are a parent, I’m sure you can relate to the pressure we put on ourselves to feed our children healthfully, delighting in each milestone as they grow healthy and strong. We live in a society overflowing with organic, gluten-free, free-range food options, which is wonderful. However, not all mothers have this option and it is heart-wrenching to feel helpless over your child’s well-being.
Another of UNICEF’s Survival Gifts is a therapeutic milk powder which mothers can mix with water in order to feed their babies. True to form my kids all wanted a hand in mixing the formula but only my two little ones gave it a taste. Though their response was not as positive as that for the Plumpy’Nut® (because when you’re used to ‘real’ milk, a powdered formula is not very appetizing to the discerning palate), the message was clear: to babies that have no other alternative, this is liquid gold. And 25 packets is only $20!
Drink It: Water Purification Tablets
One of the most important keys to survival is clean water. When you and I want purified water, we simply turn on the tap. Instant gratification. But for some people, purified water means having to dissolve one of these tablets and letting it sit for 30 minutes before it can be used. Quite a process, right? However, once this water is purified, you can drink it, clean with it and cook with it.
We tested out one of these tablets (well, actually two, since we miscalculated the water measurement the first time and whoa! it was a bit strong-tasting!) The second go-’round proved successful. The kids happily filled and re-filled their cups from the big pot of water. Imagine that for $19 this Survival Gift provides 2,857 tablets to families who need clean water. That works out to 14,285 litres of water. Amazing, right?
Call to Action
This year, we will be sending a little Christmas magic to a child or family that truly needs it thanks to UNICEF Canada’s Unbox Possibilities. I am asking that you consider doing the same so you can see what it means to truly give the gift of luxury. Giving the ultimate gift is as easy as 1-2-3!
- Choose a Survival Gift: browse through over 60 life-saving options;
- Dedicate a card: add a personalized message; and
- Save lives: help children around the world survive and thrive.
Survival Gifts are truly life-altering for these families. They are real, tangible gifts that, when purchased, help give the world’s most vulnerable children the essentials of life and a chance to thrive. However, UNICEF offers a variety of options for gift-giving. Select art kits or soccer balls from the Brighter Future Gifts or celebrate a special occasion by selecting from the Gifts by Occasion. Take a few moments to browse the shop at www.unicef.ca/shop.
To see the impact that UNICEF Survival Gifts are making to the recipients, check out www.youtube.com/unicefcanada for real-life experiences. You can shop from there too!
Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/UNICEF-Canada or www.twitter.com/UNICEFLive using hashtag #unBOXPossibilities. Together we can help UNICEF unBox possibilities for children in need this holiday season.
(This is a sponsored post for which I received compensation. However, all thoughts, opinions and taste-tests are my own.)