Christmas Shoeboxes – Details, dates etc.

Christmas Shoeboxes – Details, dates etc.

Last Christmas, we posted a video clip which showed gift-filled shoeboxes being delivered to impoverished children in Africa. A 10ways user got in touch to say this:

I was thrilled to see this project (Operation Christmas Child – OCC) receiving exposure – having been involved with it since I was a small child. In recent years, I’ve filled between 100 and 200 boxes each year (as an individual, since I’m a loser with no social life, but many people enjoy doing them in groups – with friends, colleagues, student societies etc). I know that there is massive public support for the scheme – having discussed it with many, many people, such as when buying the gifts (so many are desperate to get involved themselves).

Pure joy and happiness

No iPads, No PS4s and no children having a strop because it wasn't the exact thing they asked for. Just pure joy and happiness, it really puts Black Friday & our other videos into perspective. via Team Hope Ireland & 10 ways to have more money as a student, without working.

Posted by Black Friday Idiots on Sunday, 30 November 2014

I’m a shop-a-holic – for bargains, obviously – and trained myself to avoid buying much for myself, but have bought crazy numbers of items to fill boxes, having discovered insanely good deals. On eBay, there are plenty of auctions for joblots, which have allowed me to buy toys, purses, accessories, stationary etc for thrillingly little per item.

For example:

I’ve also used AliExpress, and, occasionally, sale offers (though these are rarely as good value as eBay joblot auctions). Carboot sales are also a great place to find super cheap soft toys (but they must be as-new condition obviously).

It is outrageous that there is such inequality – in Britain we spend hundreds, even thousands, on Christmas gifts, many of which are un-needed and will soon be forgotten; meanwhile in other parts of the world, equally deserving people live in squalor and have nothing to give or celebrate with at Christmas. It is tragic that many children have next to nothing, and will receive no Christmas gifts. They’re without so many things that we take for granted – and so are over the moon when they receive bars of soap, toothbrushes, school supplies, gloves etc – and the toys may be the first that they own . For extremely little cost, we can bring immeasurable joy by filling and sending these boxes. These toys won’t end up quickly buried under others or disposed of as do most given in Britain –though far less expensive, the toys given in shoeboxes will be adored and played with for years and years. They’ll bring joy amidst horrendous suffering.

They could fill boxes themselves (asking at shoe-shops, ideally near to closing time, is the best way to get free empty boxes – or you can order flat packed boxes, designed by OCC, here: ) – and use the OCC’s website to find the nearest drop-off point (various Churches, shoeshops etc, between Nov 1-18. If you have more than 50, you can ask OCC and they’ll come and collect them in a van).

People can also pack a box online (though it can be far better value if you do your own using bargains and joblots) – or simply donate to OCC (to help fund extra items for incomplete boxes, shipping costs etc)

[This year I’m planning to volunteer at the West London processing/checking centre – where we’ll check each box (to make sure that it is full, and doesn’t contain any harmful items) before they’re shipped – I’ve already met several times with the area co-ordinator, and had numerous discussions with the organisation. I don’t work for the organisation]

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