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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights
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by Oxfam | February 1, 2012

Blair Redlin 

For many people around the globe, February 14 is a day to invest time and effort and, especially money, in pink teddy bears, flowers and bubbly to celebrate an important relationship. While some criticize Valentine’s Day as a day of consumerism, I say, on this Valentine’s Day, open your minds and hearts… and wallets… to show your love for Oxfam.
Declarations of love come in all shapes and sizes – heart-shaped pillows, decadent chocolate, a dozen roses, and hand-written love notes – but these things won’t change the world.
In fact, many of these gifts, those from people with the loveliest of intentions, end up being wasted. Copious quantities of alcohol and chocolate make our waists larger and all that unnecessary packaging ends up in our landfills.
This Valentine’s Day, I’m going to invest not only in my relationships with my loved ones, but also my relationship with the world. I want to change the world with declaration of love that has the greatest impact possible – I am renewing my long-standing relationship with Oxfam!
And it can be done all for the price of a dozen roses.
Let’s look at this more closely: $5 over the course of 12 months is the same amount you’d spend on a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day. The same amount can plant two vegetable gardens in the global south. Ten dollars a month would purchase a donkey for a family or provide a bicycle to a community. Twenty-five dollars a month means that a community would have an emergency toilet and survival kit in times of crisis.
Many years ago, I decided to share my love with Oxfam and help to change the world through the SharePlan monthly giving program. Today, I ask you – “Will you join SharePlan too?”
Think differently about giving. Give the gift that won’t end up at the garage sale. Join SharePlan.  And if that’s not for you, consider showing your love with the gift of a goat, donkey or a chicken. That’s a warm fuzzy gift that keeps on giving to a vulnerable family. This year, give something that shows you have a global heart – one that is bigger than a box of chocolates. This Valentine’s Day, show your love for Oxfam by signing up for SharePlan.