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UNICEF Canada announces call for entries for annual Pier 1/UNICEF/Owlkids GREETING CARD CONTEST - Children Ages 14 and Under Invited to Submit Designs

2009-02-26

Toronto, Ontario – February 27, 2009—UNICEF Canada announced today the call for entries for the annual Pier 1 /UNICEF/ Owlkids Greeting Card Contest, in which a child’s winning design will be printed as an official UNICEF greeting card and sold exclusively at Pier 1 Imports stores in Canada during the 2009 holiday season. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of the winning card as well as all of the other UNICEF cards sold at Pier 1, go to help UNICEF Canada, in its efforts to make a real difference in the lives of children around the world who urgently need help.

The contest is open to children ages 14 and under, begins on March 1 and runs through April 12, with the winner announced in May. This year’s theme is "Joy to the World." The grand prize winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship along with $500 worth of art supplies for their school, a one year gift subscription to one of Chirp, chickaDEE or OWL magazine as well as a subscription for his or her school. Owlkids is also contributing an Owlkids surprise gift pack and one year gift subscription to one of Chirp, ChickaDEE or OWL magazine to each of four finalists as well as a one year subscription to one of the magazines to their schools.

Entry forms are available in all Pier 1 Imports stores nationwide while supplies last, online at www.pier1.ca, www.unicef.ca and www.owlkids.com or by calling UNICEF Canada at 1-800-567-4483 ext. 8854. All entries must be hand-drawn and received by Pier 1 Imports’ Canadian office by April 12, 2009. The children’s artwork will be judged on artistic quality and creative interpretation of the theme “Joy to the World.”

Pier 1 started the card contest in Canada in 2006 as a way to help raise awareness among school children about UNICEF’s work and has inspired kids across the country to use their creative talents in a meaningful way. The winning card design becomes a real UNICEF greeting card sold in Pier 1 Imports stores in Canada during the holiday season. Pier 1 also sells a full assortment of UNICEF greeting cards in its stores in Canada during the holiday season, with 100% of the proceeds going to UNICEF Canada.

This year’s contest marks 22 years of a partnership between the specialty home furnishings retailer and the international children’s organization. In Canada, Pier 1 started selling UNICEF greeting cards in 1987 and is now the world’s largest retailer of UNICEF greeting cards, having raised over $3.5 million in Canada and $26 million in total for UNICEF

Funds from the sale of cards support UNICEF programmes that provide lifesaving medicines, vaccines, nutritious foods, primary education, clean water and sanitation and emergency relief for millions of children and women in over 150 countries and territories.

ABOUT UNICEF

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca

ABOUT PIER 1 IMPORTS

Pier 1 Imports, Inc. is the original global importer and is North America’s largest specialty retailer of imported decorative home furnishings and gifts. Information about the Company is available on www.pier1.com.

ABOUT OWLKIDS
Owlkids, a division of Bayard Canada, publishes award-winning children's magazines and books that have been entertaining and enlightening kids for more than 30 years. With three magazines and numerous books covering various age groups — pre-schoolers (Chirp Magazine, ages 3-6), grade schoolers (chickaDEE Magazine, ages 6-9) and pre-teens (OWL Magazine, ages 9-13) — Owlkids’ publications reach more than one million youngsters and their parents every year. For more information, please visit www.owlkids.com.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.