Mango Trees Poised to Become New Holiday Tradition

Plan Canada's "Gifts of Hope" teach important lessons about giving

TORONTO, Nov. 6 /CNW/ - Do your part to end the holiday custom of re-gifting unwanted presents by giving things people actually appreciate. In its new Gifts of Hope catalog, Plan Canada offers holiday shoppers more than 30 compelling options for those seeking meaningful alternatives to traditional gifts. And instead of buyer's remorse, you get a charitable tax receipt.

For $75, you can donate a goat to help a family in Northern Uganda rebuild their lives after a destructive 20-year civil war. Families also get training on raising and breeding the goats. Plus, have you ever heard of someone re-gifting a goat?

    
    Other options include:

    -   Instead of a fruitcake, give the whole tree. For a mere $12, stuff
        your stockings this year with mango tree saplings. Planted in
        schoolyards in Rwanda, the saplings teach children about gardening
        and the environment, and the tree will supply nutritious, vitamin-
        packed fruit for years to come.

    -   It only takes $50 to give a family in Zimbabwe access to clean water.
        It gets even better. As with many Gifts of Hope items, this is part
        of a project partly funded by the Canadian government. In this case,
        your gift gives us access to an additional $450 in funding. In a slow
        economy, that's an outstanding return on investment.

    -   Are you the person at the office stuck buying the gift baskets for
        VIPs? Impress them with boxes filled with books instead of
        chocolates. For $60, you can donate a portable library in a box -
        loaded with tales of adventure - to a classroom in Haiti. Your VIPs
        get custom cards telling them their gift means that children in Haiti
        will discover that reading is fun.

    -   Has Dad been talking about making the next family car a hybrid? Make
        him - and the environment - feel better by donating a $150 bicycle
        rickshaw to a family in Bangladesh. It's a green gift and it gives
        parents the ability to earn a living and take good care of their
        children.
    

This is just a sampling of the incredible Gifts of Hope waiting to find their way under someone's tree this year. Make the holidays rewarding and easy - do all your shopping online at www.PlanCanada.ca and avoid crowded parking lots and malls. You won't blow your budget because of ill-advised, last-minute purchases. You'll be done in minutes.

Shoppers can purchase a Gift of Hope in their own name or on behalf of someone else. Your donations help children and families in a developing country combat poverty by supporting long-term, sustainable programs in education, livelihood, health and habitat.

From $15 for classroom essentials in Sierra Leone to $10,000 to build a girls' school residence in Tanzania, the catalog offers choices for everyone on your list. Gifts can be purchased by mail, by calling 1-800-387-1418 or online at www.PlanCanada.ca.

About Plan Canada

Plan Canada is part of Plan, a global movement for change and one of the world's oldest and largest international development agencies. Operating in more than 65 countries, and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, we mobilize millions of people to support social justice for children in the developing world. We promote gender equality in all of our work. Find out more at www.PlanCanada.ca.

SOURCE Plan Canada

For further information: For further information: Steve Theobald, Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada, Direct: (416) 920-1659 ext 211, Cell: (416) 568-6525, stheobald@plancanada.ca; Cayley Kochel, Veritas Communications, Direct: (416) 955-4572, Cell: (416) 435-2211, kochel@veritascanada.com

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