December 11 – UNICEF's Birthday

Posted on December 11, 2013

An acronym is an abbreviation formed by parts of words (usually the first letter of each word) that is pronounced as a word.

FBI is a familiar abbreviation (it stands for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as I'm sure you know), but it isn't an acronym, because we don't pronounce it as a word such as feeby; instead we pronounce each letter name. NASA, on the other hand, is an acronym. It is an abbreviation that stands for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration—but it is pronounced as a word.

UNICEF is an acronym that is based on an old name for a wonderful organization. After World War II, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund was created to provide immediate emergency food and health care to children.

Now it isn't necessarily just an emergency fund; instead, UNICEF works for children's rights and well-being around the globe with many long-term non-emergency programs as well as programs that help with disaster relief. So the name has been streamlined to the United Nations Children's Fund. However, rather than moving to the unpronounceable UNCF, the organization kept the already-popular UNICEF.

Since UNICEF was begun on this date in 1946, today is its 67th birthday.

UNICEF is still collecting donations to help children in the Philippines, which was so devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. An estimated 6.7 million children were affected by the storm!

Children in Canada and the United States sometimes collect pennies for UNICEF—and these seemingly tiny donations have exceeded four million dollars per year. Today, on UNICEF's birthday, might be a great day to start a penny-collecting fundraiser for the worthwhile programs. (Hint: if someone doesn't have pennies, take nickels, dimes, whatever they want to donate!)

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