Our shoebox appeal brings joy and hope each year to many thousands of people of all ages. These gifts have brought smiles to children and adults living in poverty in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and even the UK.

When you send a shoebox you are sending more than just a box filled with useful and fun items; it’s a personal gift just for the person receiving it, a message of hope and love, reflecting the love of Jesus. 

It’s also personal for those of us filling a shoebox; choosing who the box is for, selecting appropriate items to send, wrapping the box, maybe writing a greetings card, all help us to care about the person who will receive the gift.

Letting people in desperate circumstances know that someone cares and they are not forgotten is so important. That’s why we send shoeboxes to people of all ages from babies to elderly people, and why we deliver shoe boxes throughout the year, not just at Christmas. These gifts are distributed by our own teams and local churches who know their communities well and reach out with Christ’s love to those in need.

So, who will you send a smile to?

Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to do to prepare your shoebox:

  1. Gift wrap the box and lid separately so the lid can be lifted off, please don’t wrap individual items, use an elastic band to keep the box together.
  2. Choose the age and gender of the person you want to receive your shoebox and fill the box with suitable items. Shoeboxes are sent to all ages from babies to elderly people.
  3. Label the box with who it is for e.g: Girl aged 3- 5 years, Boy aged 9-11 years, Adult Female aged 60+ years. You can write your own label or print our shoebox leaflet and use the label included.

Ideas for what to include:

  • Stationery / school supplies:
    Pens, pencils, crayons, eraser, sharpener, notebooks, colouring books, maths set, if sending scissors to children, please ensure they are round ended safety type.
  • Toiletries:
    Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, flannel or sponge, comb, hair bobbles, roll on deodorant,
    No sprays, medicines, vitamins, tablets.
  • Toys:
    Small toys, cuddly toys, balls, skipping rope, games, small jigsaws etc. No guns or war toys.
  • Clothes:
    Socks, T-shirts, hats, scarves, gloves, underwear, Babygro for little ones.
  • Practical Items:
    Plastic bowl, cup, cutlery.
    For teens and adults: a small sewing kit, string, safety pins, a wind up torch or plasters.
    No matches.
  • Greetings:
    You could send a card with a cheerful picture or encouraging message, please don’t include your personal contact details.
  • Sweets:
    Please make sure sweets have a long use-by date, no chocolates.

Please email office@internationalaidtrust.org.uk or phone 01772 611000 to arrange drop off or collection of your shoeboxes.

It costs us £2 to collect, store, transport and distribute each shoebox. In a time of increasing costs, your contributions are very welcome. Please do not put money inside or attached to boxes. Donations can be made through our website or by cheque or follow this link https://www.stewardship.org.uk/partners/shoeboxtransport/oneoff


To hear more stories about the impact shoebox gifts have, you can request a speaker for your school, church or group, email: julie@internationalaidtrust.org.uk.

For further information and advice on what to include in your shoebox gift, please download our ‘Shoebox Leaflet’ and ‘Shoebox Suggestions’ via the buttons below.

Shoebox Leaflet & Labels Shoebox Suggestions

Have you considered sending a Virtual Shoebox? Click here to read more.

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