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(ARA) – The holiday season is a time of year when we reflect on how we want the world to be. The phrase, “Peace on earth, good will towards men,” will be heard over and over again in the coming weeks.

To some it means bringing an end to war …

and suffering, to others — like the winners of this year’s Pier 1/UNICEF Greeting Card Contest — it means helping children in need around the world.

When they designed the images that will be featured on this year’s UNICEF holiday cards, seven-year-old Amanda of Menomenee Falls, Wis., and 12-year-old Dana of Los Altos, Calif., showed some incredible insight.

Amanda’s design features the words, “hope, love, peace and dream,” inscribed in bright shapes around a colorful heart, with a peace sign in the center. Dana drew two houses surrounded by snow and decorated with Christmas lights. Both houses have children inside, peeking out the windows with excited looks on their faces. Their drawings appear as UNICEF holiday greeting cards this year that are sold exclusively at pier1.com and at Pier 1 stores nationwide.

“Amanda and Dana should be very proud that the money raised from the sale of their cards will go to help children in need throughout the world,” says Marvin J. Girouard, chairman and CEO of Pier 1. During the 2002 holiday season, the winning cards alone raised over $140,000 for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and total UNICEF card sales at Pier 1 were nearly $1.8 million, 100 percent of which goes to UNICEF.

“A lot of people share these girls’ visions, and we’re hoping they’ll show their support by buying official UNICEF greeting cards to send to their friends and loved ones this year,” says Charles J. Lyons, president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Since they were first introduced in 1949, sales of holiday greeting cards have been one of UNICEF’s most successful fundraisers. To date, over 4 billion cards have been sold, bringing UNICEF a cumulative net income of close to $1 billion.

Greeting cards are not the organization’s only means of fundraising at this time of year. A holiday tradition for 53 years, UNICEF’s 2003 Fall/Winter catalog has something for everyone on your shopping list. This year’s gift choices include stationary sets, calendars, candles, ornaments, picture frames, toys, books and clothing.

You can buy UNICEF cards at Pier 1 Imports and online at http://www.unicefusa.org, or by calling (800) FOR-KIDS.

Courtesy of ARA Content

EDITOR’S NOTES: Pier 1 is the world’s largest retailer of UNICEF greeting cards and sponsors the annual Pier 1/UNICEF Greeting Card Contest. Pier 1 donates 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of UNICEF cards to UNICEF. Pier 1 has donated nearly $18 million for UNICEF since 1985 when the cards were introduced in Pier 1 stores.

Founded in 1946, UNICEF helps save, protect and improve the lives of children around the world through immunization, education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority.

SIDEBAR

Holiday Fun Facts

* 7 billion greeting cards are purchased each year (Greeting Card Association)

* 90 percent of households in the United States purchase greeting cards (Greeting Card Association)

* 44 additional cargo airplanes are needed to move holiday mail in the two weeks prior to Christmas (U.S. Postal Service)

* 850 million pieces of mail were sent on December 16, the busiest mailing day of 2002 (U.S. Postal Service)

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Courtesy of ARA Content

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