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New Present Aid feature makes group giving easy this Christmas

October 24 2012 - Present Aid www.presentaid.org, Christian Aid’s virtual gift shop, is launching a new website which, for the first time, enables individuals to contribute towards a larger group gift online this Christmas.

Ethical gift buyers can now team up with others at their school, club, church or workplace to buy a truly life-changing gift by setting up an online group giving page.

This page can be personalised with a photo and individual messages and others can be invited to contribute towards the gift using email, Facebook or Twitter.

Donations will be visible online so it is easier to see when the target has been reached.

Family and friends can also use the group giving facility to buy something for someone special who will then receive a gift certificate.

Present Aid offers a wide range of gifts, all of which will help poor communities access vital funds for essential services such as education and clean water.

• £731 could equip a whole school in South Sudan with materials to provide children with and education to last a lifetime.
• £596 could train a student teacher in South Sudan, allowing more children the opportunity to gain an education.
• £327 could build a deep well in Kenya, transforming the lives of a community where farming families face a desperate struggle to survive.
• £120 could build a bridge to help women and girls, who trek many miles a day just to fetch water in remote areas of Ethiopia, reach a water source quicker and more safely.
• £86 could buy two pairs of crutches for children injured as a result of conflict  in the occupied Palestinian territory.
• £18 could buy a floating garden in Bangladesh, that rises and falls with the water level, meaning a farmer can continue to grow crops and earn an income in times of flood.

Gifts can be bought right up until Christmas day and a special group certificate can be printed off to display your achievement.

Individual gifts can still also be purchased and there is now a choice of sending an e-card, gift card by post, or printing the card out at home yourself.

A variety of designs are available and the gift card will feature details of the chosen gift along with a personalised message.

Printed catalogues are available now (call 0845 3300 500) or order online at www.presentaid.org

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If you would like photographs of any of the gifts featured in Present Aid, or further information, please contact Karen Lobo-Morell on 020 7523 2404.

Notes to Editors:

1. Money raised by the gifts in the Present Aid catalogue is distributed to one of five project funds:

a. Agriculture and livestock
b. Emergency and disaster preparedness
c. Healthcare, including HIV
d. Training and education
e. Water and environment

2. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around some 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

3. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. We believe that the underlying causes of poverty were made by, and can be ended by, human action. Our strategy for building the power of us all to end poverty is embodied in a new report ‘Partnership for Change’: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/2012_strategy.pdf

4. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 125 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.  Further details at http://actalliance.org

5. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

6. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk