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Charlie the Goat: A Little Card with a Big Heart

28 Jul 2023

Charlie the Goat has been headbutting poverty in the face for almost two decades, one community at a time. Every time people buy a goat charity gift card, he’s been busy tossing out tools, seeds, and, yes, even manure (yuck, but useful!) to farmers far and wide. Not in a literal sense, of course. He does this so farmers can stand tall on their own hooves, growing and selling their own food.

But despite his popularity and significant impact, little is known about him. So here we will unwrap (no pun intended) Charlie’s story.


Birth of Charlie the Goat

When Oxfam Australia kick-started the Unwrapped initiative in 2006, we had a mission–to turn the gift-giving world on its head. In stark contrast to traditional gifts that often end up gathering dust or, worse, in the bin, Unwrapped set out to gift real necessities that could change the lives of those in communities that need help. 

Just a year later, the Unwrapped team pulled a rabbit…err, a goat, out of the hat. He was named after Charlie, a team member who was the friendly face behind all Unwrapped supporter communications, making him as familiar as a well-worn pair of thongs.

Even when Charlie (the human) decided to pack up his pens, his spirit didn’t leave. It merely underwent a baa-rilliant transformation into our four-legged friend — Charlie the Goat.

Charlie the Goat’s journey

Since making his debut, Charlie the Goat has pranced his way into the hearts of supporters worldwide. He even had an epic role in a Trojan goat event at Melbourne’s Federation Square. He has also appeared on TV quite a few times and even inspired the creation of a Fairtrade chocolate goat. He was a shear-lebrity in his own way.

But more than these, Charlie the Goat’s real impact was felt by the communities he’s helped worldwide. Communities that, through your support, were able to find a way to escape poverty and thrive.

Each time someone donates a Goat charity gift card, we were able to help families either grow fruits and vegetables or raise farm animals for their own consumption or selling.

Charlie’s retirement and the new breeds

Despite all the love for and from Charlie the Goat, he will be passing the baton (or should we say, the ‘billy stick’?) to Oxfam Unwrapped’s newer projects. The times are a-changin’, so Oxfam is gearing towards more sustainable, longer-lasting solutions to poverty and inequality, such as:

    • Garden gift card. Cultivating a green thumb is a big step towards breaking the chains of poverty. It’s like planting the seeds of prosperity right in the backyard. This is why, for every purchase of this gift card, we will be helping farmers in South Africa turn their patches of soil into profitable produce aisles.

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  • Cow gift card. We’ve always known women make udderly amazing entrepreneurs. That’s why we’re churning our focus towards championing women-led social enterprises in Timor-Leste. Through your help, we will empower these women with the means to earn a respectable income from dairy farming.

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  • Fish gift card. Life is not always smooth sailing for the fishing communities making a living along the Mekong. The river is their lifeblood, but unchecked construction and development could lead to choppy waters. But with this gift card, we can empower them to question corporate and government policies and have a say in preserving their livelihoods.

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  • Chicken gift card. If you shell out on this gift card, you’ll be helping families in Timor-Leste hatch plans to raise chickens successfully. From the initial training to continued support and even the first clutch of livestock, you’ll help us ensure families can harvest eggs for their tables and baby chickens to sell at the market.

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  • Duck gift card. As the climate crisis ruffles our world’s feathers, those in flood-stricken areas bear the storm’s large brunt. This means traditional farming methods are severely affected. But with this gift card, you can help us train these communities to raise ducks for their own consumption or as a source of income.

    charity gift cards - duck - cover


That being said, we’re not closing the barn door just yet! You can still donate a goat gift card and help more families be self-sufficient. 

Shop our full range of charity gift cards here.

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