Generation Generosity: Young people buying more ‘crap’ but for a good cause

Media Releases, Oxfam Unwrapped article written on the 25 Nov 2009

While 15 – 29 year-olds are often branded as the apathetic Generation Y, Oxfam Australia has seen the number of young people buying charitable gifts double since it started its Oxfam Unwrapped program in 2005.

The percentage of young people purchasing the gifts has risen steadily from 8 per cent in the first year to 16 per cent in 2009 based on purchases to date.

Over the same period, the popularity of the gifts among 30 to 44 year-olds, generally considered to be Generation X, and the 45 to 59 year-old ‘Baby Boomer’ Generation has remained relatively steady.

Analysis of last year’s sales also reveals that quirkier gifts like cattle manure – which helps people in Sri Lanka who use it as a cheap fertiliser to increase their crops – are most popular with the 15 – 29 age group.

The top-seller across all age groups last year was the chicken, which this year will support Oxfam’s work with women in Laos to help them learn how to rear poultry to earn a living.

Oxfam Unwrapped allows people to purchase items like goats, cooking sets and cattle manure to help the aid agency provide similar items to poor communities, while receiving a card to show friends how they are helping.

Oxfam Australia Fundraising Manager Leigh Stewart said that every year the majority of Oxfam Unwrapped purchases of were made in the lead up to the Christmas period.

“With only a month to go until Christmas, Oxfam Unwrapped is now at its busiest time because the festive season is when people often think about giving to others.

“We find people like supporting our work through Oxfam Unwrapped goats, pigs and chickens as it allows them to make a donation to people less fortunate, while giving a Christmas gift to a friend or relative at the same time,” Ms Stewart said.

Currently in its fifth year, the advertising for this year’s Oxfam Unwrapped campaign is focusing on charitable giving as something that never goes out of style.

“While trends come and go and many of us no longer use the gifts we received last year, a goat is something that will keep on giving milk and manure to people in Mozambique long into the future,” Ms Stewart said.

A selection of the other Oxfam Unwrapped Christmas gift ideas are listed overleaf, and the full range is available online at, by calling 1800 034 034 or at Oxfam shops in major shopping centres around the country.

For media enquiries, images of the gifts or to interview Leigh Stewart or Oxfam Unwrapped customers, please contact Sunita Bose on 0407 555 960.

Oxfam Unwrapped Christmas Gifts

Goat $39
While it comes to ‘cool’ gifts the Oxfam Goat proves that a good idea never goes out of style. One goat soon turns into a whole herd, which can be sold for money or donated to other families so that they can breed them and also benefit from their milk and manure.
Food for a Child $60
In East Timor, children often suffer from high levels of malnutrition during the “hungry season”. This gift helps mothers in East Timor prepare nutritious meals to keep their children healthy during these hard times.
Chicken $10
This particular chicken might be a little funky, but for women in Laos chickens are no laughing matter as the animals give them a chance to make a living through poultry rearing, allowing them to earn money for themselves and provide for their families.
Cattle Manure $15
For $15 you can help people in Sri Lanka who use cattle manure as a cheap fertiliser to increase their crops, and give your friends a card to tell them that they may have received a crap present but at least it won’t go to waste.
Pig $35
Pigs work up a sweat helping communities in need, and this gift supports Oxfam’s work with communities in mountain regions in Vietnam.  Oxfam trains people how to care for and raise piglets, which can then be sold at local markets, providing families with much-needed income.
Orphan Care $97
In South Africa over 1.5 million children are orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS. This gift helps Oxfam support a local organisation to provide mentoring programs and care for orphans and vulnerable children.
Ducks $20
Ducks are not only cool gifts, they make financial sense for families in need. Ducks provide families in Mozambique with eggs, which can either be eaten or sold at the market for money that can be used to send children to school or buy essential medicines.

For the full range visit For media enquiries, contact Oxfam Australia Media Coordinator Sunita Bose on 0407 555 960.