Christmas card decision saddens QC merchant

  • Sep. 22, 2004 1:00 p.m.

Queen Charlotte merchant Joy LaFortune is saddened that UNICEF Canada no longer wants her to sell its Christmas cards, despite the fact she has been doing so for 20 years, and sending UNICEF the better part of $800 each year.
In a letter dated September 8, UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) writes that it has just finished a cost analysis of all sales channels, and those which sell les than $1,100 worth of UNICEF cards a year will be cut loose and not allowed to sell them again.
It’s really sad,” Ms LaFortune of Joy’s Islands Jewellers told the Observer Monday, “It was a good feeling because I thought maybe I was feeding little kids or helping towards it.” She also said she had quite a network of people who bought the cards from her. They will now have to buy UNICEF cards on the internet, if they want them.
UNICEF’s letter says the decision was not an easy one, and says it cannot afford to continue to do business in this manner. “Please be assured that the decisionÂ…is based solely on the business reasons already mentioned and is in no way a reflection on any aspect of the way you have conducted business with UNICEF,” Roy Buddharma, Inventory and Logistics Coordinator for UNICEF Canada wrote.
“It sort of sounded like the person who wrote the letter didn’t really understand the grassroots,” said Ms LaFortune, who has sent close to $16,000 to UNICEF since she began selling the cards in the 1980’s.