More than a greeting
The International Community Charity Drive for UNICEF, a special promotion of UNICEF greeting cards was held last Saturday at the Pinnacle Plaza and the Dragon Bay Villas in the Shunyi area. During the event, Christmas carol singers, charity auctions, children's carnivals, band performances, and a clown were all there greeting the international families living in the neighbourhood.
On the day, the Dragon Bay Villa was awarded as the "Charity Community" for its efforts and commitment to the cause of the world's children.
"It is the first time we worked with Dragon Bay Villa. And the promotion activities at Dragon Bay Villa is just one of the many greeting card projects that we do with corporations," said Thomas Chung, sales development officer at UNICEF Office for China.
According to Chung, UNICEF has been working with corporations on different projects that use UNICEF greeting cards and gifts to interact with their business partners, customers, employees, students or the public. They send direct mails to 100,000 corporations in the major cities of China. The mail package includes an introduction letter of UNICEF's work in China and their product catalogues. UNICEF also has volunteers selling the greeting cards in 16 cities in China including Beijing.
"We sold about 600 cards on Saturday and that means 600 more people will get to know UNICEF and its work helping needy children and women in China," Chung said.
"We have been selling more than 100 million cards a year globally, and we are expected to sell 350,000 cards in China for 2005/2006."
On the Year 2005-2006 UNICEF Greeting Cards order form, there are 19 different cards displayed, and Chung said they actually have more designs available.
Most cards are priced at 70RMB or a little bit higher, and Chung believes it is quite a competitive in the market.
"Our greeting cards are made by printing artists' work from all over the world onto recycled paper. When you check prices of imported cards, not on recycled paper, in most shops, you will find that UNICEF cards are less expensive," said the UNICEF worker.
"When people buy the UNICEF cards, they exercise their social responsibilities twice. Firstly a donation is made to help needy children and women. Secondly, each UNICEF card being sent is a personal appeal to the recipient to support UNICEF's works in China. The sending of UNICEF greeting cards and gifts will help raise public awareness of situation of needy children and women and UNICEF's work in China."
With 60 years of history, UNICEF greeting cards started with a 7-year-old girl from former Czechoslovakia named Jitka Samkova, who painted a picture to thank UNICEF for the help her village received. The painting was later made into the first UNICEF greeting card.
Recently, UNICEF China started to recommend children's paintings from China to its Geneva Headquarter for consideration as greeting card designs. In 2004 a painting from a child in Guangzhou was selected, and this year paintings from two children in Liaoning and Chongqing were selected.
"UNICEF China organized its first children's painting competition in Zibo, Shandong Province, in 2004, from which three paintings were recommended to Geneva. I hope that at least one of them would be selected and printed into greeting cards that are sold world-wide," Chung said.
"UNICEF is now looking for corporate partners in the major cities of China to hold more painting competitions and let more Chinese children have the opportunity to share their creativity with children globally."
Today, money raised from the UNICEF greeting cards contributes to 10 per cent of the UNICEF global funding. Proceeds raised in China will be used in UNICEF's projects in China on health and nutrition, education, child protection, water and environmental sanitation to try and provide all children with the basic things they need for their full development.
Have you bought your Christmas cards? Please send UNICEF cards this year and send your message of kindness to those you most care about.
For ordering your cards, please call: 010-6532-3131 ext 2204/ 2205 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(China Daily 12/16/2005 page16)
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