- Team will visit 5 countries in 5 weeks – the U.S., Ecuador, Cambodia, Zambia, and Ethiopia
- Effort aims to raise a record-breaking $25 million through World Vision’s Gift Catalog to fight poverty and help nearly 625,000 people
- Throughout tour, agency will connect donors to developing world through social media tools
New York, Nov. 19, 2009—Beginning November 19, join World Vision and thousands of people around the world on the “Spirit of Christmas” tour as a team from the Christian humanitarian agency travels around the globe in search of the Christmas spirit. The month-long tour will feature interviews and stories with children and families in the United States, Ecuador, Cambodia, Zambia and Ethiopia. World Vision’s team will circle the globe highlighting both the heartbreaking circumstances of the poor and the inspiring impact even small donations of a few dollars can make in helping families provide for their children.Bronx, New York (November 17 – 22): The team will meet children and their families in the Bronx – the nation’s poorest Congressional district – who were living on the streets until someone gave them a helping hand.Quito, Ecuador (November 22 – 27): From New York City, the team will head to Ecuador to see how alpacas are helping families improve their lives – and the environment – every day.Phnom Penh, Cambodia (November 28 – December 5): Here, the group will learn first-hand about the sex trafficking industry and get to know one young girl who lost her parents to AIDS and was forced into sexual slavery as means of survival after she fled the home of her abusive uncle.Lusaka, Zambia (December 6 – 13): The next stop is Zambia where the team will find out how something as simple as a bed net is preventing malaria and saving the lives of children across the continent.Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (December 13 – 17): Finally, they will finish up their search in Ethiopia as they talk to an entire community about the impact of clean water in their village.As part of the “Spirit of Christmas” tour, the organization seeks to raise a record-breaking $25 million through the World Vision Gift Catalog to help provide these communities with much-needed resources like water, livestock, medicine, and agriculture – assistance that could change the lives of nearly 625,000 people. World Vision’s cash donations are currently down 4 percent – or $33 million – a deficit that could ultimately affect the poorest families around the world. If World Vision meets the Gift Catalog’s financial goal this year, it would be far more than the aid agency has ever raised during the holiday period, making it a truly extraordinary response in extraordinary times.
“Even as the economy begins to show signs of improvement, children and families both in this country and around the world continue to feel the effects of the global recession. Now, more than ever, it’s important for people to realize that every little effort to help their neighbor can go a long, long way,” said Devin Hermanson, campaign manager for World Vision’s “Spirit of Christmas” tour. “We believe that every gift – even the smallest donation – has the potential to make a life-changing difference in the lives of people living in poverty around the world, and we’re going to travel the globe to prove it.”
Details on the “Spirit of Christmas” schedule:
Throughout the trip, donors will be able to interact online with the team and the people they meet around the world. Frequent video and journal entries from each country will be posted online, and the traveling team will respond to questions and comments whenever possible, allowing viewers to help shape aspects of the campaign.
World Vision launched the Gift Catalog in 1996. A gift given through the catalog significantly improves the lives of children and families in need by providing tools and opportunities to overcome extreme poverty, while at the same time honoring friends and loved ones. There are more than 100 gifts (many under $35) to choose from. To order, visit our website at www.worldvisiongifts.org or call toll-free 1 (888) 511-6511. All items are tax-deductible.
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world’s poor --regardless of a person’s religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press.