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Christmas Shoeboxes

In the past few months I've been building up towards creating and donating some Christmas shoeboxes for charity. I remember making these for my Mum when I was in primary school, and a few years ago I looked into it again and found a charity called Link Romania. They're a small UK-based charity, but I went for them because they don't give out any literature with their boxes, unlike other charities that give out bibles and "education leaflets" in an attempt to convert children.

So two years ago I did two family shoeboxes. The Christmas after that I remembered the whole thing too late and found they had stopped receiving shoeboxes at their Area Collectors and I couldn't get down to Worthing to drop one off, so I didn't do it.

But this year I remembered in plenty of time, and started to plan it all back in May. They now also do shoeboxes for the elderly, so I decided to make two family shoeboxes and two elderly shoeboxes. I had various candles and notebooks already that I no longer needed, and I kept any eye in various shops for extra little things. At one point I got a £5 eBay voucher that I spent on some stickers. I found an Area Collector near my parents home and during a trip home two weekends ago me and my Mum went shopping to get the last things I needed (which turned out to be more than I had realised). My Mum decided to make one shoebox, and then bought so much stuff that she made two!

I remember every single thing I bought, but in the end every shoebox had;
- Soap
- Toothpaste
- Toothbrushes
- Sweets
- Shampoo
- Socks
- Wooly hat
- Gloves
- Safety razors
- Pens
- Notebooks
- Flannel

The family ones also had pencil cases, colouring pencils, crayons and colouring books and the elderly ones had mugs and candles. There are other bits and pieces that I scattered among them, and then wrapped them all up with the help of my youngest sister and my Mum (because I need all the help I can get when it comes to wrapping things, even easy things like boxes XD).

And then my brother drove me to the area collector in Orwell, and forgave me for not having a particularly accurate address and proceeded to wait while I filled out 6 customs forms to stick onto the shoeboxes.

I know you all want some photos!

Overall it was a lot of fun! The hardest part of it was getting the shoeboxes, a problem which was solved by my lovely friend Poppy who brought 4 shoeboxes into work in a giant bag for me, and then my other lovely friend Lucy brought one in too, so I had plenty instead of scrabbling around begging shoe shops for help.

You've still got time if you'd like to make a shoebox, area collectors close on the 2nd November! If not, then keep it in mind as a fun thing to do next year. No one cares if you've just bought an extra bottle of shampoo on buy one get for free, or stocked up on tealight candles that you realised you don't need and don't want to throw out. As long as you have a nice mixture of things for all ages, and don't break the prohibited items rule, you'll be fine.

Have a good week everyone!


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