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Date: 10 November, 2005

Present Aid

Help change the lives of poor people around the world with Present Aid, Christian Aid's online shop selling virtual gifts.


‘Virtual gifts are a new kind of retail philanthropy. They're unusual gifts that have the power to transform lives.'

An introduction to Christian Aid’s new virtual gifts service, Present Aid. By Andy Jackson.

Instead of socks, bottles of sherry or tins of Rover biscuits this Christmas, why not buy a goat, a tap or a mosquito net?

Perhaps you’ve been leafing through the Christmas present catalogues that have dropped onto your doormat and been thoroughly uninspired? Or you have already bought your other half, family member of friend something similar?

Or maybe you love buying presents but loathe wrapping them? Perhaps Present Aid, the new virtual gifts service from Christian Aid, can help.

What are virtual gifts?

Virtual gifts are a new kind of retail philanthropy. They're unusual gifts that have the power to transform lives. Ranging from a can of worms to clean water for an entire community, you can buy a virtual gift for friends, relatives, or even yourself. We won't send the worms to you. You'll get a lovely card to give to the recipient and the worms will go to someone who can really use them.

So where does the money go?

The advantage of virtual gifts is that they allow you to choose how your money will be spent in the fight against poverty. For example, if you buy a goat your money will be spent directly on livestock and agricultural projects throughout the developing world. Purchase a tap and your money will go to clean water projects that fight disease and make crops grow.

A gift for any occasion

PresentAid includes gifts to suit a range of pockets, from a £7 stethoscope to a £790 well that can turn dry dead soil into fertile, crop-bearing fields. The gifts will make any occasion special: whether you buy a clinic for Christmas, books for a birthday, or a well for a wedding, you'll be giving a gift with real meaning and lasting benefits.

Make your gift count for more

If you are a UK tax payer and tick the gift aid box on the registration form, Christian Aid can claim an extra 28p for every £1 you spend. So a gift of two sheep, for example, at £80 will become a gift worth £102.40.

• Visit Present Aid here

• Say it with worms Send a Christmas e-card using the wormographic messenger



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