Top five last-minute holiday gifts that give back

UNICEF Survival Gifts are a great option as 23 per cent of Canadians admit to throwing out gifts

TORONTO, Dec. 23, 2016 /CNW/ - With the holiday's right around the corner, last-minute gift shoppers eager to find something special for their loved ones are running out of time. UNICEF Canada suggests avoiding the crowds and looking online to Survival Gifts, which make gift giving easy. 

"With just one click, you can purchase a real gift that will have a real impact on vulnerable children around the world," said Deana Shaw, Vice President at UNICEF Canada. "It takes just a few minutes to buy a Survival Gift online, but the feeling your loved one will have knowing they are helping a child survive and thrive is lasting."

Every day, thousands of children around the world die from preventable causes. Survival Gifts are real, life-saving items shipped to children in 140 countries.

"When you purchase a UNICEF Survival Gift on behalf of a friend or loved one, you can send a personalized e-card or print off a PDF card that celebrates the good their gift is doing, while a vulnerable child or family receives the actual items," said Shaw.

Last year, Canadians purchased more than 10 million Survival Gift items. Through their gifts of Bed Nets alone, Canadians helped protect nearly 5,000 vulnerable children and families from deadly mosquito bites.

Top five last-minute holiday gifts that give back

For Canadians looking for a convenient way to make a difference this holiday season, UNICEF Canada recommends these five life-saving gifts:

1) Backpacks: "A set of backpacks is a great way to give children a sense of pride and support improved learning," said Shaw. "They're sturdy and perfect to carry school supplies to keep children organized for successful learning." A set of four backpacks is $14.

2) Bed Nets: "Malaria accounts for one in 10 child deaths in Africa," said Shaw. "An insecticide-treated mosquito net is a simple and effective way to protect and save young lives." A set of three bed nets is $10.

3) Plumpy'Nut®: "You can boost a malnourished child's chance of survival with Plumpy'Nut®, a therapeutic, peanut-based food," said Shaw. "Three packets a day can help an undernourished child gain up to two pounds in one week, promoting health and well-being." A 21 pack is $12.

4) Restock an entire emergency medical centre: "During emergencies, UNICEF is among the first on the ground to help," said Shaw. "When an emergency strikes, this gift will provide medical supplies to immediately help save children's lives." $50 restocks one centre.

5) Vaccine Pack: "Immunizations are a safe and effective method of protecting children against deadly diseases, ensuring they have a chance to grow up," said Shaw. "A vaccine pack will guard against life-threatening illnesses such as tetanus, measles and polio for 61 children." One pack is $44.

Canadians admit to tossing out gifts

According to a recent Ipsos survey, 23 per cent of Canadians say they usually end up throwing out some of the holiday gifts they receive each year. Three in four Canadians say that many of the people they buy for don't actually need anything.

"Why waste money on gifts that people may not like and probably don't need, when you can give them something that is almost priceless?" said Shaw. "With one click of the mouse, you can not only avoid the mayhem of holiday shopping and parking, but you can give a child a fair shot at life and make your loved one feel good about helping someone else this holiday season."

The UNICEF Survival Gifts online store is open 24 hours a day and features more than 65 life-saving items for quick sale.

About Survival Gifts
Survival Gifts are real gifts with real impact for children and families around the world. They are delivered year round to reach the most vulnerable children. When you purchase a UNICEF Survival Gift on behalf of a friend or loved one, the recipient receives a card or e-card that celebrates the good their gift is doing, while a vulnerable child or family receives the actual items. Real items come from the UNICEF warehouse in Copenhagen, Denmark - the world's largest humanitarian warehouse. The gifts are sent to more than 140 developing countries where UNICEF is working with children, families and communities. For more information or to purchase UNICEF Survival Gifts, please visit

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit


For further information: To arrange interviews or for more information please contact: Stefanie Carmichael, UNICEF Canada, 416-482-6552 ext. 8866, 437-345-6324 (mobile),


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