The Trussell Trust shoe box appeal is now in its 13th year and helps some of the poorest families and communities in Bulgaria, from orphanages and women’s refuges to the housebound elderly and rural schools. The boxes bring light, laughter and essential supplies to those who need help the most living in exceptionally tough conditions.
Claire Leeper the Trussell Trust’s Finance Manager helped give out the boxes in Bulgaria and says:
‘It was so touching and humbling to meet people who were so incredibly grateful for these small gifts. One elderly man who’d had a stroke could barely stand up. He said he felt useless now that he’s old and he cried when he received his box, repeatedly saying, ‘thank you so much for not forgetting us.’ Another bed-ridden elderly lady held my hand and sang me a song as a thank you.’
‘It is shocking how many children live in orphanages in Bulgaria, and it is amazing to be able to bring a little hope and love to children who have been abandoned. It’s also so important that we build relationships with orphanages and communities so that our in-country team can help people break out of poverty longer term. ’
This year thanks to the help of local communities an astonishing 7,231 boxes were filled (up 10% on last year). The donations came mainly from Wiltshire but also from Dorset and Hampshire.
The shoeboxes are filled with age and gender specific gifts suitable for babies, children of all ages right through to grown men and women.
As well as the generous donations of filled shoeboxes, a special thanks must also go to the staff and volunteers at The Trussell Trust in Salisbury who helped with the enormous task of co-ordinating, checking and sorting the boxes to get them ready for their journey to Bulgaria. The distribution of the shoe boxes took 2 weeks and if you would like to read more about their journey please see our blog https://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog/trusselltrust/12/tpod.html