Smiles can change a life this Christmas

If youre struggling to find that perfect Christmas gift for a loved one or cant decide what present to take to your work Christmas party, local World Vision Australia supervisor Marilyn Manning (pictured) has a wonderful alternative.

Marilyn, an advertising consultant with The Northern Rivers Echo, says the new World Vision Smiles Catalogue offers a unique and easy way to buy something that can change the lives of children, families and communities in need around the world.

Lots of people dont know what to buy and the Smiles Catalogue offers a good mix of gifts which the whole family can band together and buy it could be eye surgery and immunisation or school supplies, or you could all pitch in for a goat or a yak that a community can use, Marilyn said.

For the past two years staff at The Echo have set an example and instead of buying each other unwanted Christmas gifts we all contribute to the Smiles program. Our goal this year is to raise enough money to buy a cow for a family in Zimbabwe, which will cost $296.

Wed love other businesses to do the same and its also a great way for families to teach their kids to give from the heart instead of always receiving.

Marilyn, who joined World Vision as a volunteer in 2000, met her sponsor child in Rajesthan, India, four years ago and is set to visit another child she sponsors in Jaipur, India, early next year.

I saw first-hand where my money was going and the great work being done by World Vision people here always ask me if the money actually got to the people in need so it was good to put their doubts to rest, said Marilyn. It also made me realise how lucky we are here, especially with access to clean water, as many parts of the world dont have that vital resource available.

Marilyn will be available to explain how the organisations Smiles Catalogue and child-sponsorship programs work at a stall in Lismore Shopping Square from this Thursday to Sunday, November 30 to December 3 (including the Lismore Carboot markets). The stall will also be at Ballina Fair from next Monday to Sunday, December 4-10.

All contributions are fully tax deductible. To order your gift online visit or phone 1300 303 440.

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