Promotional Products Everywhere You Look

By Penny Lane

When you are looking for ideas for promotional items for business, it is important that you keep a few things in mind. The customer or client is the first thing that you must remember when ordering these items. Have you ever gone to a fair in your town that is sponsored by different companies and they set up booths and give away free items? These items are called promotional merchandise. The idea behind these products is to gain your attention by giving you something for free and you in turn sport around that item and advertise their business. It is a quite brilliant idea!

Not only do clients get these items when they use the services of the company, but employees may also get these products. When someone has an office in a workplace, their office supplies usually have the logo of the company on them such as their pens, their paper; they may even have calendars printed with the businesses name on it. The reason employees are encouraged to have these items is to show support for the company they work for. You would not want to see someone in their office with a pad of paper that had the logo of a different company on it, it would look unprofessional.

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You may not even notice how common these items are. When you get a letter from a school with the logo and name at the top and same with a business, this paper that they have used is promotional. When you go to the bank and get free items when you open a new account or go to a restaurant and see the drinking cups with the logos of the restaurant or you see the employee wearing the company t-shirt, these are all examples of these types of products.

You may even see people sporting around tote bags with company logos on them. These items are great as far as advertising goes. Bags can be used for an assortment of things. You may want to carry some files to work in it or use it as a purse or diaper bag. No matter what you decide to use it for, you will show the logo to others as you walk around and bags can be used for so many different things. You always need bags and may want to take sand toys to the beach in it or use it to carry your books to class.

When you get free gifts that you can use, it is nice. These items may not be great quality, but you can use them for many different things and help out the company. Promotional products do not only have to promote businesses either; schools use them and different locations use them. When you go on vacation, you can buy shirts or different products with the name of the town on them and these items are also considered to be promotional because you advertise that place and they might get more visitors thanks to t-shirts or bags.

About the Author: Penny Lane has often received

promotional items for business

when she visits a hotel or bank. She ordered

promotional merchandise

online to give to her customers.


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Doctors Without Borders A Global Volunteer Organization Helping People In Crisis Regions

By Susanne Pacher

One of the subjects I am going to research in the near future is combining travel with volunteer opportunities all over the world. Volunteering is a great way of exploring different cultures while making a positive contribution to important causes.

Doctors Without Borders first caught my attention during the Tsunami Crisis. It is an organization that provides important medical relief to people in disaster-stricken areas. I felt compelled to find out more about this organization, about its philosophies and its recent missions. Here is my interview with Isabelle Jeanson, National Press Officer Toronto with Doctors Without Borders.

1. Please tell us about Mdcins Sans Frontires / Doctors without Borders. What type of organization is it? What philosophy s it based on?

We are the world’s leading independent international medical relief organization.

Mdecins Sans Frontires offers assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict, without discrimination and irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation. We also observe neutrality and impartiality in the name of universal medical ethics and the right to humanitarian assistance.

2. Please tell us about the history of Doctors with Borders. Who founded the organization? How has it evolved since its inception?

MSF was originally founded in France in 1971 by a group of doctors and medical journalists who were concerned with the plight of populations in emergency situations. Since 1971, MSF has grown into 5 European operational sections, and 13 partner sections around the world. The Canadian office was founded in 1991, by a few Canadian doctors who came back to Canada from mission, and realized there was a need for an MSF presence in Canada.

3. How is your organization funded?

We are mostly funded by donations from the public (80%) and the rest from governments and foundations (20%).

4. Who can volunteer with Doctors without Borders? How many volunteers are there world-wide? Please tell us about the volunteer recruitment process.

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Doctors, nurses, midwives, logisticians, project coordinators, financial coordinators, mental health specialists, social workers, and many other professionals can volunteer with Doctors without Borders. There are over 2000 volunteers working for MSF in the field, and hundreds more who work in offices around the world.

People who are interested should first visit our website:, that explains in detail what we look for in our candidates. Once an interested candidate has applied (either on-line or by mail), their application is revised by a recruitment officer. If their application is relevant to what we look for, they will be invited to an interview. If the interview is successful, the candidate will be offered pre-departure training prior to going on mission. The selection of their mission is based on the candidate’s skills which are matched to the needs of the field. The time needed to find the right mission for the right person can happen anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

5. Please comment on some of the risks and dangers that the volunteers face.

Security is of the outmost concern for MSF, for all of its volunteers and national staff. A security briefing is given to the volunteer prior to going on mission, and once they arrive at their mission. A volunteer is never forced to go on mission if they are concerned about their security. The volunteer is ultimately responsible for his or her security once they are on mission, however MSF provides excellent security protocols and systems to minimize the risk. If a volunteer is in a mission which becomes too insecure, he/she will be evacuated with his or her team to a secure environment.

6. What are the living conditions for the volunteers?

Volunteers will often live in a house shared by other international MSF volunteers. Housing, food, transportation and all other amenities are covered by MSF. Volunteers also receive a stipend as pocket money.

7. What critical missions has your organization been involved in recently?

Currently we are involved in a famine crisis in Niger; in the conflict in Darfur, West Sudan; in conflict areas in Democratic Republic of Congo; in mental health projects in Asia; in the tsunami relief in South-East Asia; and we offer AIDS treatment projects in dozens of countries around the world, to name only a few. MSF is currently working in over 70 countries around the world and manages hundreds of projects.

8. MSF also speaks out to end suffering and provides public education and informational events. Please tell us more about that.

Other than providing medical relief to populations in distress, MSF also has a mandate to speak-out or do “tmoignage”. This basically means that we speak out against the atrocities or injustices that we witness in the field, to raise international public awareness about an issue that is otherwise forgotten or unknown by the world. We do this by speaking at public events, or giving interviews in the media or by publishing reports.

9. Please comment specifically on the situation now in South Asia, more than 6 months after the Tsunami Disaster.

We are currently still active in India and Indonesia, providing mental health counseling to the victims of the tsunami and basic health care.

10. Please tell us about the different ways of making a contribution to Doctors without Borders.

People can give to MSF through a variety of venues:

Through Partners Without Borders, our monthly giving program ;

By internet through our secure online giving form ;

By fax or mail, in response to our annual campaign, or our special or emergency appeals ;

By phone – we may call you, or you can contact us toll-free at 1-800-982-7903 ;

Through donations of publicly traded securities ;

By leaving a contribution to MSF in your will ;

By hosting or organizing a special event to benefit MSF ;

By making a gift in honour of a birthday, anniversary, marriage or graduation of a friend or family member ;

By making a gift in memory of a loved one who has passed on ;

At work through matching gift programs

Thank you, Isabelle, for providing further information about your organization and the important missions and activities you are involved in. We wish you the best of luck in your humanitarian efforts.

For the entire story including photos please visit

About the Author: Susanne Pacher is the publisher of Travel and Transitions (

), a popular web portal for unconventional travel & cross-cultural connections. Check out our brand new section featuring FREE ebooks about travel.


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