UNICEF has been developing its unique tradition of greetings cards for 61 years. The first UNICEF greetings card was sent in 1949, and the cards are still bringing happiness to children around the world today.
The first UNICEF greetings card became a reality with the help of a seven-year-old girl, Jitka Samkova, from Czechoslovakia. In 1947 Jitka did a painting of a sun and a group of children dancing round a maypole, and sent it to UNICEF as a thank you for all the help which the organisation had provided in her war-ravaged village. At that time, UNICEF provided help for children and their families in the form of food and vital medicines. Jitka called her picture Happiness. UNICEF staff liked the picture so much that they printed it on greetings cards. The cards were a huge success and, of course, all the profits were used to help children.
Since then, UNICEF greetings cards have been more than just good wishes. When you send season's greetings to your loved ones with a UNICEF greetings card, so full of life, you are also helping to change the lives of millions of children all over the world. Every greetings card sold helps provide adequate nutrition, schools and education, vaccines and medicines, and access to drinking water for children in developing countries. Jitka's Happiness will now adorn a new postage stamp that will remind both collectors and ordinary senders and recipients that by sending UNICEF greetings cards they are helping children around the world.