Shoebox Appeal 2021 - 09/11/2021
The Sheffield Shoebox Appeal has been running since 2013, initially focusing on collecting shoeboxes for people accessing support through homelessness services. The appeal grew gradually, and now supports many more vulnerable people including those in hostels and refuges, those escaping abuse, those battling mental health and addiction problems and the lonely elderly population of the city.
The current team has been running the appeal since 2019, when they collected 3,200 boxes which were distributed to 35 different charities. Last year, despite the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown, the team supported 40 charities with 2685 boxes.
But 2021 promises to be their biggest year yet!
“The list of charities requesting support now totals 45, and there may still be more to add to that, so we’re looking at around 3000 boxes again this year”, explains Chris Sexton, one of the small team of volunteers who manage the project. “As services and charities have reopened their doors after Covid, and more face to face support is being offered, people who may have missed last year due to lockdown, are in need of support this Christmas.”
The Shoebox team work closely with charities and service providers to provide Christmas cheer for men and women in hostels, temporary accommodation and refuges, and the socially isolated elderly. Most of them have access to basic items like toothbrushes and toothpaste, ordinary toiletries and food, but don't have the little luxuries that we all appreciate, especially at this time of year. Shoeboxes are typically packed with toiletries, hats, gloves, books, games, Christmas treats and chocolate.
Chris explains, “for many of the people we support, this will be the only Christmas present they get, so we want to make sure our boxes are full of treats and luxury items. We check each box as it’s received, to make sure there’s nothing in there that we shouldn’t give to people, then if necessary we add in a few extras too - nobody ever complains about having too much chocolate in their box!”
The Sheffield Shoebox Appeal website has a list of items to include in your shoebox, along with what not to include, packing instructions, and drop off locations: https://sites.google.com/view/sheffieldshoeboxappeal2021/home?fbclid=IwAR0KYTJsdf5Ww1iUbpIPcT55vNijNRhU_Stgs-pl1AbB6C0th4hvewt_co0
“We always need lots of little extras, such as selection boxes and sweets, so if people would rather donate a few of those instead, we can always make use of them”, explains Chris. “There’s our Amazon wish list too, although we are big fans of shopping locally, so Poundland, B&M and Home Bargains are our favourite places to pick up lovely treats for the shoeboxes”, adds Chris.
Drop off locations are now open for your shoeboxes, and will close on December 4th. Check the full list of locations here.
Alison Wise for Help us Help