This is a personal tradition that goes all the way back to when i was 5. Sitting in my classroom at Primary School, our teacher gathered us round to talk about the Shoebox Appeal. Every Autumn, you take a shoebox and fill it with gifts for underprivileged children & adults around the world who don’t get Christmas presents.
Most charities hand out a list with suggested items on it, but there are three basic categories: clothing, hygiene & toys.
Before you start buying things for your box, you have two decisions to make:
- Are you making the box for a boy or a girl?
- What age range will this be suitable for?
This year, i chose a girl aged 7-8. It can be fun to make the box for someone your age, or your child’s/siblings age or you can pick whatever age you find it easiest to buy for.
I went to Primark and for clothing i picked up: Hats, Gloves, Underwear, Socks & a t-shirt. Primark almost always have things reduced or on offer so all of this cost me under £10. I managed to get a really cute, girly pink theme. You can get the basic stuff, i found the more decorative items were around the same price and it looked really nice together.
Next i went to Savers for all my hygiene bits, you could get most of this in Primark (so effectively, Primark is a one stop shop!). Shops like Home Bargains, B&M, Wilko, Superdrug, Boots are all good for this kind of thing. Because it’s a young girl, i picked toothpaste & a toothbrush specifically for her age, a bar of soap, child friendly shampoo and a pink flannel- which all together came to around £4. I also have lots of packs of Primark tissues lying around my room so i put a packet of them in also, because they always come in handy!
For entertainment, i picked up a Frozen notebook with sticks in Primark which was reduced to £1 and a stationary kit for 90p. I wanted to get a few more fun bits so i went into pound land and found a princess colouring book & pencils which were £1 each-obviously. I also picked up a little plastic doll, just to add in, which was also £1. You can also add sweets as long as they’re not chocolate, and dated well so i picked up a bag or Haribo strawberries which are delicious for 50p.
Pick out some cute Christmas wrapping paper and wrap your shoebox up, ready for filling!
It’s then time to pack your Shoebox. Take everything out of the packaging (except bars of soap and such like!) as it’s unnecessary and bulky, you want as much space as you can work with. Finding the best arrangement of items can take a few tries so play around with the space you have!
Once you’ve filled it, fill out your check list and attack it to the lid of your box- most charities ask for 2 £1 coins to be sellotaped on to help with transportation costs.
For under £20, this is a really lovely gift for a little girl who will really appreciate it. It seems like basics to us, but to these children, it will mean so much. I really love doing this every year, it’s a good way to give back and a really fun activity to do with children of all ages.
If you like this idea and want to get involved, i’ll leave links below of a few charities who are still collecting shoeboxes for this years appeal. Also check your local newspaper, it’s really common for Churches to be collecting and it’s always good to help out in your own community.
As i mentioned in my Autumn Tag , this is one of my favourite Autumn traditions, it’s when i know Christmas is right around the corner! I had so much fun doing it this year, i really enjoy putting a lovely gift together for someone.