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Holiday Gifts That Give Every Child the Chance to Survive and Thrive

December 17, 2020

Wondering what to get for friends and family this year? Consider sending a UNICEF Inspired Gift in their name, and help vital supplies reach children in need.

Would you like to make this season of giving truly meaningful? If you're still wondering what to get for that person who has everything or anyone who believes in shopping for good, then it's hard to find a present that has more impact than a UNICEF Inspired Gift.

UNICEF Inspired Gifts are vital supplies you can send to vulnerable children in honor of anyone on your holiday list. Things like warm winter clothing that children in refugee camps desperately need, Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food that can bring a malnourished child back to life and vaccines to protect children from preventable deadly diseases.

UNICEF Inspired Gifts are things children can't do without yet they are so easy to give. And this year, when COVID-19 has further endangered so many vulnerable kids, Inspired Gifts can do more good than ever.

COVID-19 containment measures in places like Jordan have alarmingly exacerbated families' economic struggles; the number forced to live on just $140 a month has doubled since the start of the pandemic. Nutrition service coverage has declined by 40 percent across 135 countries, with 265 million children worldwide missing out on school meals. In India alone, 300 million students have been affected by school closures that UNICEF and partners are addressing through education initiatives across 16 states.

The pandemic has completely overturned children's lives, forcing many to watch those they love fall ill or even die. In response, the Inspired Gifts collection has expanded to include the critical supplies families and children can use to protect themselves from COVID-19, from soap to a kit that contains everything a child needs to stay healthy, learning and safe. All you have to do is choose your gift and dedicate it to your friend or loved one with a personalized holiday greeting. UNICEF will take it from there, delivering the supplies into the field where they can make a world of difference to a child in need. 

Though fighting the spread of COVID-19 has dominated the year, it's hardly the only threat to children's health and well-being. Mosquito nets in the Child Health gift collection, for example, help UNICEF protect families from malaria. In Nutrition, $92 buys enough therapeutic milk to treat three children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. For those on your list who know how important it is to give a child the healthiest start to life, the $500 Survive, then Thrive! combo pack includes all the supplies a mom needs to protect her child during those critical first five years of life.

Syrian refugee children who live in informal tent settlements in Jordan face extremely dire conditions come winter. These girls are just two of the many UNICEF has helped protect from the snow, sleet and freezing temperatures through the annual distribution of winter clothing and blankets to families in need. © UNICEF/UN0272702/Haidar

Right now, UNICEF is delivering clothes, blankets and other assistance to families in Syria and other countries across the Middle East and North Africa, and you can help. A UNICEF Inspired Gift of warm winter clothing for a child ranges from $26 for a set sized for an infant to a $65 set for a 16-year-old, including a jacket, trousers, fleeces, strong shoes or boots, a scarf and hat. 

In September, Pakistan sent 260,000 trained health workers door to door to resume its first national polio vaccination campaign after a six-month pause due to COVID-19. Over 39 million children under 5, like this little girl, got their shots, then ink marks on their fingers to show they'd been vaccinated. © UNICEF/UN0353290/Bukhari

Buying a UNICEF Inspired Gift can also support UNICEF's global efforts to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases. These vital humanitarian gifts range from $35 for 200 doses of polio vaccines, $41 packages of the measles vaccine — 100 doses to protect 50 children from the disease — to $69 gifts that provide tetanus shots for 200 children. If you're looking for something more affordable, just $21 will buy a portable carrier to keep vaccines cold during the long journeys health workers often take to reach children in remote communities.

Children were eager to pack up their UNICEF backpacks and head back to school in central Côte d'Ivoire after they were closed to fight the spread of COVID-19. Once classes started, children quickly got with the program, washing their hands, wearing masks and keeping a safe distance so they could get back to doing what they love most: learning. You can help support the quality education every child deserves by sending UNICEF Inspired Gifts this holiday. UNICEF/UN0344391/Orozco 

An UNICEF Inspired Gift can help provide children with a quality education by outfitting a classroom with pencils and exercise books, art supplies or math lesson materials. A gift of $185 will pay for a School-in-a-Box kit filled with enough educational supplies for 40 children. Or you can send jump ropes or soccer balls to help kids in emergencies get a chance to play and be kids again. These supplies are used in UNICEF Child-Friendly Spaces in refugee camps and settlements for displaced families to facilitate learning and recreation, both of which are critical to a child's development and well-being.

11-month-old Jenty enjoys Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) while she sits on her mother's lap at a treatment center in South Sudan. “She couldn’t keep down what we were giving her, and she got malnourished,” says her mom Margret Michael, who sought help after Jenty experienced several days of diarrhea. The diagnosis: severe acute malnutrition. But once Jenty began treatment with RUTF, says her mom, “She very quickly got her energy back. You can see how much she likes it!” © UNICEF/UN0372533/Ryeng

Nutrition-related gift options include a two-month supply of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) — a "miracle" treatment for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition ($55) — or 900 packets of vitamin sprinkles for two toddlers ($22).

UNICEF works nonstop to deliver lifesaving nutrition, health care, education and protection to children in over 190 countries and territories. UNICEF Inspired Gifts are an opportunity for people to support these efforts by purchasing the essential vulnerable children need to survive and thrive. 

PURCHASE A UNICEF INSPIRED GIFT

Top photo: Kong is only 10, but thanks to the education she’s getting at her UNICEF-supported primary school in Cambodia’s Ratanakiri province she’s learning what she needs to hatch big plans for her future.  Her dream: owning and operating a coffee business with a dozen employees. © UNICEF Cambodia/2020/Antoine Raab