Frequently Asked Questions

What is Oxfam Unwrapped?

Oxfam Unwrapped is an on-line alternative giving program that offers a selection of life-changing gifts. No matter the occasion – whether a birthday, an anniversary, a retirement or a wedding – we have gifts that allow you to give something special to someone who has everything – while at the same time giving something meaningful to someone who needs it.

A gift purchased from Oxfam Canada Unwrapped will be used to help women and men – even entire communities – gain greater self-sufficiency. Oxfam Canada works in more than 90 countries around the world and the gifts we offer through Unwrapped represent actual items used in our programs.

The principle behind Oxfam Unwrapped is that your gift-giving dollars work in two ways:

  1. By supporting the fight against poverty
  2. helping women and men in developing countries reach a greater level of self-sufficiency and control over their lives. 

The gifts are fun!

More Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How does Unwrapped work?

Once you've selected your gifts, we send your recipients a lovely gift card notifying them that a gift has been delivered to a community in need on their behalf. The outside of the card depicts the gift you've chosen. The inside of the card contains information about how your gift is making a difference to the lives of people around the world.

How can I purchase Unwrapped gifts?

You can purchase Unwrapped gifts by using your credit card over the web at or through our toll free Unwrapped telephone number at 1-866-572-2831.

Does a donkey really cost $120?

To explain the costs of all our Unwrapped items would take a while but, for example, when you make your purchase, you are giving so much more. You're providing vaccinations, transport, training and market awareness as well as building resources that benefit entire communities.

Where does the money go?

Oxfam Unwrapped has proven to be a very cost-effective way of raising funds for Oxfam's work around the world. Our aim is to make the best use of our supporters' money by making the biggest possible difference to the lives of people living in poverty around the world. Your gift will be used in general support of Oxfam’s work around the world. In some cases, this may be providing 10 chickens, while in others it may be used for educating women.

Can my gift go to a particular country?

Unfortunately, no. Coordinating the delivery of items on this level would incur too many costs and would reduce the effectiveness of the Unwrapped program. We can ensure that your gift will go to a country where Oxfam works and where it is most needed.

What kind of cards do you have?

We offer electronic (E-card), PDF and hard copy versions of the card in which you can place a personal message. You can e-mail your card directly to yourself or to the recipient, so that they may print it out. You can also select a hard copy card that will be sent via Canada Post directly to the recipient or to you. You can see a sample of the cards below.

Can I send a card directly to my friend?

You can send a card directly to your friend via the Unwrapped website or through our 1-866-572-2831 line. No matter which method you choose, you can add your own personal message, which is printed on the card and sent directly to the person receiving the gift.

Can I get one card for multiple gifts?

Yes, you can choose to have one card for two or more of the same gift. On the "Personalize your card" page you are able to indicate the number of cards you would like. You will then be able to personalize your card, select the kind of card you prefer (e-card, PDF or hard copy) and the method of delivery.

Can I place a message in the card?

You are able to include a personal message in the card through the Unwrapped site for the PDF card, E-card and hard copy or through a representative at 1-866-572-2831. You can choose from three options:

  1. Mail a hard copy card to me, and I'll write it myself.
  2. Email my personalized PDF or e-card to me, so I can print it out.
  3. Send my personalized e-card or PDF card directly to the recipient.

How long does it take for my card to be delivered?

We offer electronic (E-card), PDF and hard copy versions of the card in which you can place a personal message. You can e-mail your card directly to yourself or the recipient, so that he/she may print it out. You can also select a hard copy card that will be sent via Canada Post directly to the recipient or to you. You can see a sample of the cards below.

How do I reissue my "e" or PDF cards if they have not arrived?

There are many reasons why your cards may have not been delivered to the email inbox such as computer settings, firewalls, or antivirus software. You can now reissue your cards by using your order number or email address by going to "Didn't receive your Unwrapped cards" button on the left side of the home page and following the instructions.

What happens if my Unwrapped "e", PDF or Hard copy card(s) still have not arrived?

If for some reason your "e", PDF or hard copy card has not arrived, please call 1-800-466-9326 and we will be able to issue you a new card.

Will I receive a tax receipt?

When you purchase an Unwrapped item, you are in fact donating to Oxfam Canada, which makes your purchase eligible for a tax credit. Once you have completed your purchase, we will issue a tax receipt in your name and send it either by email within 24 hours or by mail within 10 business days. If you did not receive your tax receipt in 10 business days, please email so that we may send you a replacement.

Can I have the tax receipt issued in the name of the person I am sending the gift to?

Can I have the tax receipt issued in the name of the person I am sending the gift to? In accordance with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulations governing the issuing of tax receipts, we can only issue the receipt in the name of the individual or organization making the donation or gift.

Why is giving my email address mandatory?

Providing your email address allows us to reduce our costs, eliminates tax-receipt errors and ensures that you get your electronic tax receipt within 24 hours. If you do not have an email address, please phone 1-866-572-2831 and speak with one of our representatives who will help you with your order and arrange for you to receive your tax receipt by mail.

Why do you need my phone number?

In the past there have been occasions when cards have not been received in time because of incorrect address information. Having a phone number allows us to correct this issue quickly when it occurs.

Is Unwrapped only for the holiday season?

Actually no, the Unwrapped site and toll-free number are open all year long. Whether it's a birthday, graduation, wedding or holiday gift for your teacher, friend or co-worker – or a gift just for fun – Unwrapped is there if you want your gift to give a little extra.

How does Oxfam decide where my gifts will go?

The decision where to direct the gift is determined by the needs of Oxfam staff and partners and finding where the gift will have the most impact and do the most good. Each gift is symbolic in that it represents an actual part of our work, but is actually a donation which will be used for those who need it most.

How secure is my information?

Oxfam Canada uses an encryption to protect the transfer of personal and financial information between your browser and our servers. When using Oxfam Canada's registration and donation pages, a small lock or key symbol in the status bar of your browser indicates that you are connected securely. Personal information and financial transactions are stored on our secure database server. Stringent security guidelines are in place to protect this data, and its use and release. All other questions regarding privacy and how personal information is governed and managed by Oxfam Canada can be answered by clicking on this link to our Privacy Policy.

What does Oxfam Canada do?

Oxfam Canada stands in solidarity with women and men around the world, helping them with the tools that empower them to become leaders in their communities. Our programs are designed to strengthen skills so that women and men are able to enjoy their rights, live lives of dignity and pursue their dreams and goals. We work in Africa, the Americas and Asia.

In South Africa, Cuba and Mozambique, we work with women farmers, helping them gain rights to land and property and ensuring they have the training and tools needed to make their fields viable. We work with women factory workers in places like Nicaragua and Guatemala, helping shield them from harassment and ensuring they are treated fairly in their work. We work with women the world over, from Pakistan to El Salvador, helping them promote harmony in their homes and keep themselves safe from violence or harm.

In Canada, Oxfam works from coast-to-coast campaigning on development issues and advocating for the kind of systemic change that allows development to take place. This includes lobbying for greater funding, more efficient spending and better government policies. In times of crisis, such as the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Oxfam works with partners and affiliates around the globe to coordinate a response that specializes in emergency water and sanitation. We also work with women's groups to help provide a response that focuses on promoting the skills of women survivors.

Oxfam Canada is a member of Oxfam International, a federation of 17 autonomous non-governmental organizations. Together we tackle the root causes of poverty, social injustice and inequality.

Founded in 1963, Oxfam Canada supports community programs that develop leadership, self-reliance and active citizenship.