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Children in U.S. Ages 14 and Under Invited to Compete in 19th Annual Pier 1 Imports/UNICEF Greeting Card Contest February 1 - March 5, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 General News J E 4
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This Year's Theme is "Joy to the World"

NEW YORK, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- From February 1(st) through March 5th, children in the United States ages 14 and under are invited to compete in the 2010 Pier 1 Imports/UNICEF Greeting Card Contest, a beloved, annual tradition, in which the winning design chosen from thousands of entries will be reproduced as an official UNICEF holiday greeting card for the 2010 holiday season to be sold at Pier 1 Imports stores nationwide. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of the winning card will go to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to help in its mission to decrease the number of daily, preventable childhood deaths from 24,000 to zero.

This year's contest theme is "Joy to the World". The winner, which will be announced in April, will receive a $5,000 scholarship, as well as $500 worth of art supplies for their school. Additionally, 2010 marks the second annual "People's Choice Award," in which visitors to the Pier 1 website (www.pier1.com) can vote on their favorite design from April 1st to April 15th. The "People's Choice" winner will receive $500 worth of art supplies.

Entry forms will be available at all Pier 1 Imports stores nationwide beginning February 1st while supplies last, online at www.pier1.com and www.unicefusa.org, or by calling Pier 1's Customer Relations Department at 1-800-245-4595. All entries must be hand-drawn and received by Pier 1 Imports' Corporate Headquarters by March 5th. The children's artwork will be judged on artistic quality and creative interpretation of the theme "Joy to the World."

This year's contest marks the 25(th) year of partnership between the specialty home furnishings retailer and the international children's organization. The greeting card contest started in 1992 as a way to help raise awareness among U.S. school children about UNICEF's important work for children around the world, and has inspired kids from coast to coast to use their creative talents in a meaningful way. Pier 1 started selling UNICEF greeting cards in 1985 and is now the world's largest retailer of UNICEF greeting cards, having raised over $27 million for UNICEF.

The winner of the 2009 contest was Julia Hermann, age 13, from Solana Beach, California, who received the grand prize award for her artwork. Joe Peterson, age 13, from Lykens, Pennsylvania received the first-ever "People's Choice Award" last year.

Julia's design featured the world globe decorated in colorful holiday lights with Santa Claus and his sleigh propped on top. Joe won the "People's Choice Award" for his artwork featuring a white dove holding a red ribbon inscribed with "Joy to the World."

"It was wonderful to have the opportunity to participate in this contest, and winning it was especially exciting," said Julia. "But, knowing that each purchase of my card will help children across the world is incredibly rewarding."

Funds from the sale of cards support UNICEF programs that provide lifesaving medicines, vaccines, nutritious foods, primary education, clean water and sanitation and emergency relief for millions of children and women in more than 150 countries.

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in over 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.

UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress--the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from 13 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. But still, 24,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.

ABOUT PIER 1 IMPORTS

Pier 1 Imports, Inc. is the original global importer and is North America's largest specialty retailer of imported decorative home furnishings and gifts. Information about the Company is available on www.pier1.com.

SOURCE U.S. Fund for UNICEF
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