Oxfam America Launches Online Catalog of Gifts with Heart

By Oxfam

BOSTON, MA – Oct. 10, 2006 – In anticipation of the approaching holiday season, Oxfam America today announced the launch of its online gift catalog, Oxfam America Unwrapped, an alternative way to give a gift while simultaneously helping people in the developing countries where Oxfam America works.

“We’re very excited to offer people a way to give a gift with meaning and with heart,” said Stephanie Kurzina, Oxfam America’s senior vice president of fundraising. “Oxfam America Unwrapped is the way to give someone you love something truly unexpected, and at the same time, make a real difference for people in need.”

This is the first time in its 31-year history that Oxfam America has launched an online catalog as a way for donors to contribute to the organization. Holiday shoppers interested in purchasing gifts from the representative catalog can go to www.oxfamamericaunwrapped.com and choose one of 36 items to send to a loved one. The gift recipient will receive a personalized gift card in the mail with a picture of the purchase, or contribution, to Oxfam America programs. There are several categories of gifts, so shoppers can make selections according to the particular tastes and interests of the recipient.

“Unwrapped answers the age-old holiday question – what do you give to the person who has it all?” continued Kurzina, “Now the answer’s easy: you give a cow, a water pump, an emergency shelter, or building tools. Your friend or loved one gets a personalized card with a picture of the gift, and the gift itself goes to the people who need it most.”

Examples of the 36 gift items in the Oxfam America Unwrapped online catalog include:

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  • A camel - notoriously grumpy, camels are hard-working animals that save lives. Because they can endure extreme weather conditions, produce valuable resources, and can move families when they have to flee a disaster-stricken area, camels are essential for many communities and cultures. <

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  • A cow - it’s a gift that’s got milk and so much more: a cow helps provide many families around the world with an entire economic support system.
  • An emergency port-a-potty - this offbeat gift is essential to Oxfam America’s work to help prevent the spread of deadly disease in crisis situations.
  • A garden - for the green thumb in the family, this gift helps families in rural communities plant fruits and vegetables they can sell in local markets.
  • A coffee mill - for that special someone who can’t live without the daily grind, a gift to help build a fair trade coffee mill means ensuring that coffee growers around the world get a fair share of the profit from this beloved bean.

Prices for gifts in the Unwrapped catalog range from $18 (for a set of water jugs) to $7,500 (to build a workers’ rights center) with many items at price points in between. Other types of gifts available through Oxfam America Unwrapped include: irrigating a farmer’s land for up to a year, starting a small business, and legal training for community activists.

All gifts through Oxfam America Unwrapped are tax deductible. Oxfam America works in 26 countries around the world and a gift from this catalog symbolically represents its work. The purchase of an Oxfam America Unwrapped gift is a contribution toward the organization’s many programs, not a donation to a specific project or goal.

Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization working to end poverty, hunger and injustice. For more information, visit www.oxfamamerica.org.

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