The holidays are the happiest time of the year for many of us. It's a time to visit the ones we love, spend time with friends and family, and give thanks for all that we have. We are the lucky ones. We have comfortable beds to sleep in at night where we feel safe and warm. We don't have to worry about when the next meal with come or if we will have a roof over our heads. With so many parties and festivities going on it's hard to imagine that there are people out there suffering. But right now there are a staggering amount of people facing hardships.
UNICEF Survival Gifts
Did you know that 16.7 million children are currently refugees around the world? Many will not have a safe place to sleep tonight on Christmas Eve. But you can make a difference.
UNICEF has made it easy for Canadians to help people going through difficult times buy putting together survival gifts for those in need. You can visit www.survivalgifts.ca and browse 60 different life-saving items like vaccines, blankets, and survival food kits to help a child in need. UNICEF is in 190 countries, so you can be sure that these emergency items are reaching the hardest to reach. There is no child too far.
Canadians are a generous bunch and many have chosen to give the gift of generosity. Instead of running to the frantic Boxing Day Sales to buy something you really don't need or won't remember in years to come, give from the heart and join those who have already purchased 22,899 Survival Gifts totalling $1,157,260 in humanitarian support.
I am touched by the generosity of Canadians. So far they have made a significant difference in the lives of the 1,129,208 children reached so far who are living in some of the world’s most dangerous places.
For as little as $9 you can make a difference.
As Canadian's we are blessed with some of the purest drinking water in the world. Other people are not so lucky, but you can help make their water safe and clean by choosing a water package to suit your budget. From water purification tablets that cost a mere $14 to donating a water pump and maintenance training to a local community you can easily change lives.
It's an easy website to navigate where you can choose how your money is used. From emergency gifts to brighter future gifts it's up to you how you want your donation to be spent.
Read about the Christina Noble Foundation in Mongolia
Virtual Reality Viewer
Something I love that UNICEF is doing is how they are using VR tech, Google Cardboards and a mobile app to let you see what they see. You can purchase the viewer for $12 or if you purchase one of the 9 qualifying gifts you will receive a free virtual-reality viewer that will allow you to walk in the shoes of Sidra. You will be able to see what life is like for this 12 year-old girl currently living in the Za’atari refugee camp after fleeing conflict in Syria.
There is nothing more powerful than stepping in the footsteps of someone else to appreciate what they are going through in life. If you have never used virtual reality before, you will be blown away by this. As you look up, down, right and left, you see what she sees. The camera moves with each turn of your head and you get a 360? view of the refugee camp, her temporary home and school. It's a wonderful way to bring people into the lives of others.
So, this year instead of buying yet another video game, blockbuster movie or LEGO toy, help those who need it the most. Last year UNICEF Survival Gifts helped children in 135 countries. Conflict and unrest have only gotten worse this year, with everything that is now going on in the world, we need to do everything we can this Christmas and into 2016.