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This holiday season, Mercy Corps offers inspiring gifts that change lives around the globe

October 25, 2010

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One-stop shop for online holiday shopping offers creative gifts, beautiful cards, and help for families in need

PORTLAND, Ore. – Shopping for that hard-to-please special someone? Looking to honor a loved one with a meaningful gift? Look no further than the charitable gifts offered by Mercy Corps, a global relief and development organization, at www.mercycorps.org/gifts.

This holiday season, Mercy Corps is offering 40 different symbolic gifts — from chickens to clean water to a bicycle — that provide an inspiring gift to the recipient and critical help to families in need around the world. It’s the perfect opportunity to look at your holiday list and cross off the name of someone who knows the importance of helping others, or may be particularly hard to shop for.

“Every year, more and more people are attracted to the idea of giving alternative gifts for the holidays,” says Dan O’Neill, Mercy Corps’ founder. “Mercy Corps Gifts are delightful and moving for those who receive them, and they make a real difference in the lives of people in some of the world’s toughest places.”

The available gifts symbolize the work Mercy Corps does around the globe: A gift featuring a cookstove represents trainings for Guatemalan indigenous women on how to build fuel-efficient stoves, cut costs and save forestland. A soccer ball-themed gift represents our sports programs that help kids recover emotionally after disaster or war. An acre of rice depicted on another gift represents our work helping Sri Lankan farmers double their yields using more efficient planting methods. They are the items and interventions Mercy Corps uses to transform lives and rebuild communities.

When you send a Mercy Corps Gift, your recipient receives a beautiful, full-color, personalized card on behalf of the sender. You can also print a PDF version of your card or send it via email. With gifts starting at just $15 — and in categories ranging from farming and health, to entrepreneurship and children — there is a gift that’s just right for everyone on your shopping list.

Some of the most popular gifts include:

• A Beauty Salon ($40): Loaning a woman the money to get business training and open her own salon gives her the power to earn income to support her family and provide her neighbors a place of community. In such countries as Afghanistan and Sudan, Mercy Corps helps enterprising women turn their ideas into assets.

• Educate an AIDS orphan ($100): When children lose their parents to AIDS, many have to drop out of school to find work and support their siblings. Mercy Corps works with communities and schools to ensure that AIDS orphans can continue their education and get the support they need to cope with their loss.

• Pineapples ($15): For farming families struggling to earn a stable income, pineapples are a proven cash crop that always command good prices at market. In places like Guatemala, Mercy Corps provides seeds, agricultural support and business advice to farmers who want to make a better living.

• A Camel ($150): Camels are invaluable to families in Asia and Africa. They supply a household with milk, wool, transport and strength to plow farm fields. Mercy Corps supports rural veterinary services in countries such as Ethiopia and Mongolia, to keep these vital animals hale and hearty.

Visit www.mercycorps.org/gifts to see the full selection of gifts and place your order today.