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Oregonians Considering Alternative Gifts that Go ‘Much Further’

November 23, 2007

Portland, OR – As Oregonians start the holiday shopping season this morning, a new study shows that it might be wise to consider some alternative gift ideas this year. The report shows as materialism in children increases, they also experience a decrease in self-esteem.

Some experts say one way to help with both issues is to make a difference in someone else's life. Caitlin Carlson with the Oregon-based humanitarian aid group Mercy Corps says that's what they're trying to do with "Mercy Kits," gifts that help people all over the world.

"It's a great opportunity to share a cause you're passionate about with someone else while making a difference for that cause at the same time. It's a great way to make a positive impact with a gift."

There are a variety of Mercy Kits including ones that help promote health, education, and agriculture in developing countries. This year there's also a "Climate Change Kit" that helps to reduce global warming while creating living wage jobs.

Carlson says the gifts are good for the recipient, the giver, and people across the world.

"Education for children in developing countries and healthcare in rural areas are usually lacking. That's a big area that Mercy Kits focus on, to make sure women and children get the healthcare that they need."

Information about Mercy Corps, and this year's Mercy Kits for holiday giving, is available online at www.mercycorps.org.

Dondrea Warner/John Robinson, Public News Service - OR