Rebuilding Lives and Communities in Eastern Europe

Filling a Shoebox

Here is the video for how to pack your shoebox:-  


This year we have two types of Shoebox appeal that you can take part in - The Family Shoebox Appeal and the Elderly Shoebox Appeal - although only one leaflet.  The Shoebox contents are very similar apart from some of the gifts inside are different - see our suggested contents list for each appeal below. 

Regardless of which appeal you join in with please follow our simple Shoebox Guide so that you can fill your box full of smiles. We've even got a video full of tips on how to fill and wrap your shoeboxes.

Step 1 Fill in a registration form on the website to tell us you are joining in the appeal and then download your Family & Elderly Shoebox Appeal form and fill it in.  Next pack the Shoebox with gifts. Stuck for ideas? See our suggestions below. Or take the £10 Shoebox Challenge

Step 2 Seal and gift-wrap your shoebox, attaching the completed form to the outside. It is really important to remember to tape £2 (or two £1 coins) to the outside of the form. This helps pay for transportation costs of the shoeboxes to Eastern Europe.

Step 3 Deliver your Shoebox to an Area Collector, or we will pick them up if there are more than 80 boxes.Click here for your nearest Area Collector remembering if there appears to be no-one near you then just contact us and we can help you.

Step 4 We pack your Shoebox into a large carton and take it to Eastern Europe. 
Step 5 Your Shoeboxes are given directly to families who really need them. Read our Delivery Diary to find out more.
         FAMILY SHOEBOX - Ideas for filling your Shoebox

Personal grooming items - Toothbrushes and toothpaste, Shampoo/shower gel (max 300ml), Safety razors, Plasters, Bar of soap and flannel, Nail clippers/scissors, Brush/comb

TreatsSweets, Chocolate, Hair accessories,

Fun stuff Crayons and felt tips, Colouring books,  Travel-sized games, such as dominoes, draughts and playing cars, Small toys, such as yoyo’s, skipping ropes, bouncy balls, puzzles, balloons,  Teddies/dolls/soft toys (which have CE labels ).

N.B Handmade knitted toys are very welcome but are not to be put inside the Shoeboxes - please take them along to your Area Collector/Group Organiser when you take your Shoeboxes.

School items -  Solar powered calculators, Pens and pencils, Pencil rubbers and sharpeners.

Family gifts - Plasters, Small sewing kits, Screwdriver, tape measure, New socks/tights, Gloves/hats/scarves, Headscarves, Wind up Torch or Radio, Craft/Sewing Kit, Candles & Holders, Screwdrivers/Tape Measures.


ELDERLY SHOEBOX - Ideas for filling your Shoeboxes 

(the contents must be suitable for both sexes to recieve ie gender neutral as much as possible) 

Personal grooming items - Shampoo/shower gel (max 300ml), Tissues, Hankerchiefs, Small Mirror, , Bars of soap and flannel, Nail clippers/scissors, brush, comb

Fun stuff - Small games, Pens/Paper. Wind up torch/radio, craft sewing kits, playing cards, dominoes etc

Other items - Scarves/Gloves/Hat, Candles & Holders, Sweets/Chocolates, Reading Glasses, Sensory Items - eg wind chime, lavender bags, a beany item,oil burner etc       


Shopping bag – strong cotton cloth 

Pot holder – everyone needs one.

Wooden spoon or spatula

Cloth hankies (men’s sizes)

Hand knitted Woolly hat.

Soap – unscented.

Nail brush/ tooth brush.

Plastic shoe horn (often given away by stores)

Safety pins,

Sewing needles (unopened packets only)


Pipe cleaners

Work gloves – sometimes called riggers.

Scarf – square or men’s straight type (Light weight)

16” Cushion cover -  washable (pads can be bought locally)

Waist apron – cotton – homemade.


Small funnel  

Nutmeg grater

Small magnifier.


Customs regulations

Customs regulations mean there are certain items which cannot be included in your Shoeboxes. So please take care not to include any of these things as Link to Hope could be fined or your boxes impounded.

NO medicines or medical products
NO money
NO tinned food
NO perfume
NO coffee, tea or alcohol
NO out of date items
NO books or literature