A local store that is affiliated with the United Nations Association has donated $200,000 to UNICEF, with the funds earmarked for relief efforts in Ukraine.
The United Nations Association of Southern Arizona Center and Gift Store donated $40,000 to relief efforts and that was matched up to five times by an anonymous donor bringing the total donation to $200,000. The original donation, which represents the store’s largest one-time donation, was raised through store sales and private donations.
“Now, perhaps more than ever in recent history, donations to UNICEF are critically needed,” said Phyllis Woods, president of the local association’s board. “We are so grateful to our customers for their generous support of the store as well as to individuals who have made outright donations for this UNICEF gift earmarked for Ukrainian aid.”
The center and gift store, at 6242 E. Speedway Blvd. in the Monterey Shopping Center, marks its 47th year as a United Nations Association’s chapter store. Since its founding in 1975, the center has donated more than $2 million to UNICEF.
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The center operates under a charter with the United Nations Association, an arm of the United Nations. The Southern Arizona chapter is one of more than 200 UNA chapters nationwide. Of those chapters, only three operate a gift store, with the store in Tucson being the largest.
The store exhibits and sells folk arts and crafts including textiles, ceramics, jewelry and clothing. Its purpose is to raise funds and educate the public about the United Nations’ mission.
Funds raised go to UNICEF, an organization dedicated to providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. Last fiscal year, the local store donated $43,078, which, after other matching funding, had an impact of $198,634.
The nonprofit, tax-free, international fair-trade store, is staffed by dozens of volunteers, and by two full-time employees and one part-time employee.
The gift shop is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.