Our mission is to make participation in a Christmas shoebox scheme straightforward, easy, fun and inexpensive. We do this in a number of ways:
Careful Buying and Preparation
We buy in bulk and out of season to get the lowest prices. Sales (New-Year, seasonal or closing-down) and internet wholesalers provide much of what we need, but we also have a band of knitters (for hats and glove puppets). We use over 1000 metres of Christmas gift-wrap each year. We also like buying from other charities, where appropriate, so that two charities can benefit from a single sum of money.
For £6, we will pack and send a shoebox with items of school stationery, toiletries, games, toys, hat & gloves and a bag of sweets. The subscriber can specify the sex and approximate age of the intended recipient, though many people leave us to make that call based on the materials we have to hand and which groups are under-represented in the national collection schemes (typically "Teenage Boys"). We are happy to accept one-off subscriptions or provide bank details for subscribers who would like to make a monthly commitment. Please head to the "Participate" tab for full details.
We hold community-based Bazaars at which adults and children alike can select a shoebox (already covered in one of about 50 Christmas giftwrap designs), then choose from a wide selection of stationery, toiletry, toys, games, hats, gloves, sweets and soft toys, to make a bespoke box to whatever budget you have in mind. Everything you will need is there at the Bazaar, often with a "Buffet Car" serving free refreshments to all visitors. (Just so that it's clear, the free refreshments are privately funded by the Trustees - charity money is NOT used for the refreshments.) We encourage donors to write a personal message to the child and place this inside the shoebox. For 2020 Bazaar dates (once they have been finalised) please head to the "Participate" tab for full details.
Now that we are a registered charity, we can claim Gift Aid on qualifying donations. It means an extra 25% for us at no additional cost to you. That equates to a lot of extra boxes and a lot of extra boxes means we can reach a lot more children in need.