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Anyone doing a Christmas shoebox? Come and share ideas!

(28 Posts)
PoppyWearer Mon 08-Oct-12 21:05:12

I did shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child last year, planning to do the same this year (unless anyone can recommend another scheme or tells me how evil they are - am not religious but aware of the religious aspect). My aim is to teach my two young DCs about giving to others.

I thought we could share tips on good "finds".

Last year I found cheap packs of toothbrushes in Poundland, felt tip pens for 20p in Tesco (value range) and am luckily close to a branch of Tiger for all kinds of fab odds and ends - hair bands, etc. I remember finding a fab bouncy ball that was also a mini-globe for £1. Found some Ladybird books that were World Atlases from one of those bargain book places.

Need to do a box for a young boy and a young girl. Age 1-4 years.

Come and share your ideas (please!). I will share any good finds I have.

loubielou31 Mon 08-Oct-12 21:26:04

After a quick google I found a couple of articles suggesting that Samaritans purse were not as nice a charity as you would think. My understanding was aggressively evangelical, (my own phrase no one elses)
a couple of the articles recommended Link Romania as an alternative.
I'm just offering an alternative but can not vouch for them in any way.

iloveholidays Mon 08-Oct-12 21:27:00

I've never done this before but what a lovely idea... Might have a look into it. Always like finding bargains so good excuse for a more worthwhile cause!! smile

loubielou31 Mon 08-Oct-12 21:37:56

I should say I'm going to do a Link Romania box, they ask for boxes for a whole family not just one child, or the elderly. I liked that idea so yes I'm on the look out for good ideas. They need to be at the collection centre by Nov 2nd so I should get on with it really.

PoppyWearer Mon 08-Oct-12 22:30:08

Thanks for the Link Romania tip, DD goes to school with a girl from Romania so it would be a nice way to link it for her.

Whitecherry Mon 08-Oct-12 22:31:00

Lots of past threads on the horror of this 'operation Christmas child'

ThickCut Mon 08-Oct-12 22:38:39

I got flamed to ashes when I posted about these last year. Had no idea how hated they were amongst mner's. Thought I was doing a good deed...hmm

EverybodysSpookyEyed Mon 08-Oct-12 22:40:27

ThickCut - you didn't deserve a flaming but OCC isn't as charitable as they lead you to believe

Hopefully this thread will list out some good charities that do similar because I do think it's a lovely idea

ravenAK Mon 08-Oct-12 22:44:18

Yes, sorry, but they aren't a great thing to be doing.

Dodgy evangelising. & not a good idea to be sending toothbrushes etc halfway round the world. Cash to reputable charities far better.

It's a shame that they abuse people's charitable impulses like this; the idea of putting together parcels is a nice one.

3duracellbunnies Mon 08-Oct-12 22:45:21

I give the dc 5 pounds each and let them loose in poundland so they can practise budgetting as well as giving.

PoppyWearer Mon 08-Oct-12 22:50:29

Oh dear confused.

What about the shoeboxes for soldiers? Was that shut down for overwhelming the delivery system?

Where can I send a shoebox?

everydayaschoolday Mon 08-Oct-12 23:34:28

please don't send shoeboxes to service persons overseas unless you know the recipient of course. An influx of 'random' mail slows down the letters, photos and packages that service persons are eagerly awaiting from their families. There is a UK registered charity that provides stuff to troops overseas (can't remember their name) but they put the packages together through corporate sponsorship and each packet per individual contains the same (shoebox size, contains small toiletries etc). I believe they also ship without affecting the troops mail getting through.

Himalaya Mon 08-Oct-12 23:45:31

Ah, the annual MN Shoebox thread, it's a Xmas tradition. grin

OCC is not a great charity, unless you are interested in supporting an evangelist mission. There are few other charities that ship xmas boxes of cheap random gifts around the world. It's just not a good use of their resources or your compassion. Sorry!

insanityscratching Tue 09-Oct-12 06:41:53

I donate a box to the homeless shelter containing tinned food, gloves, hat, socks, chocolate, playing cards etc. Maybe it's worth a look in your area too.

snowballinashoebox Tue 09-Oct-12 07:48:48 our school did this instead and children filled a backpack, gym bag with stationary, last years flip flops etc, Bags don't have to be new.

The children really identified with the school bag idea just as much as filling boxes.

The charity provides an excellent resource pack and they arrange for all the bags to be collected.

OCC ties their charity very closely to their evangelical mission which is wrong.

PoppyWearer Tue 09-Oct-12 11:11:39

Hey, I'm all for Christmas traditions! grin but I guess a Christmas shoebox won't be one of our family traditions. Which is a bit sad.

I love the backpack idea. We have so many old bags lying around...I could probably fill one right now. I wonder if the school would go for it?

OhTheConfusion Tue 16-Oct-12 20:31:41

Our school takes in shoe boxes for boys and girls [ages 3-6, 7-10 and 11-14] or christmas goodie boxes for a family. These are then given out by the local health visitor to families in need within the community.

The gave out over 200 boxes last year.

Perhaps your school could do the same?

PoppyScarer Tue 16-Oct-12 20:43:11

My school has just said it is doing shoeboxes....for Operation Christmas Child.


I am donating money to a similar non-religious scheme overseas now instead.

I will be a pariah at school. confused

everydayaschoolday Tue 16-Oct-12 20:46:05

An alternative charitable option is donating on the mumsnet christmas appeal. You can donate toys for DC or a pressie for the deserving MNetter, so you still have the joy of choosing something, wrapping and sending.

Sarahplane Wed 17-Oct-12 00:00:29

We do shoeboxes for operation Christmas child with work every year. I didn't realise how bad it was but now done some googling after reading this thread. I'd volunteered to do most if the shopping for it for our team (we usually all chip in and do 6 boxes from the team) but I'm now feeling really against it. I don't know what to do or how to get out of it. My boss and work mates are all pretty niave and I know I'll be seen as being really negative or Scrooge like if I raise this, especially as we'd been given assurances that they weren't being used to convert people.

Check out your local homeless shelter. Ours does a collection for gifts for children and teenagers of families who have been made homeless.

MrsSlocombesPussy Wed 17-Oct-12 18:34:43

Or what about your local Women's Refuge? Our local Children's Centre also collects gifts.

DowagersHump Wed 17-Oct-12 19:14:27

My local women's refuge is always grateful for donations of good quality stuff - why don't you get your DC to make up a parcel (or a couple of presents each) for children of a similar age to themselves and donate them?

Tincletoes Wed 17-Oct-12 19:24:53

Poppyscarer, I had the same with our school last year and (with the help of people here and the humanist society) wrote a letter explaining why I thought it was unenvironmental and unethical, and was v pleased when the headteacher rang and said she hadn't realised etc, and they would do something different this year.

Snowball, the link to Mary's meals is lovely and I will suggest this to school as am alternative. I particularly like that they positively encourage goods to be second hand or vault ranges.

Tincletoes Wed 17-Oct-12 19:25:17

Value ranges...

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