Christmas Shoe Boxes 

Spreading joy in Bulgaria and Serbia during Christmas.


Each Christmas The Trussell Trust takes thousands of shoe boxes filled with presents to some of the poorest people in Eastern Europe.

Thanks to your generosity in 2016, we received an amazing 11,724 shoe boxes for distribution to poor and marginalised children and families in Bulgaria and Serbia.

Christmas Shoe Box Appeal

Who will receive a Christmas box?

People of all ages receive boxes, ranging from Roma people living in freezing conditions and struggling to survive, to abandoned and orphaned children living in state care. Last year we hand-delivered thousands of shoe boxes to orphanages, Roma communities, women’s refuges, prisoners’ children, housebound elderly people, rural schools and refugee centres.

See all the videos from the Christmas box appeal 2016 distribution trip.

How do Christmas boxes help?

Christmas boxes show people who have been rejected or are living in absolute poverty that they are loved. For many, a Christmas shoe box will be the only gift they receive this year. These small boxes are received with smiles, laughter and even tears of joy. Christmas boxes help us to build trusting relationships with recipients so that we can continue to help with longer term projects in future.

I’d love to get my school, church, business or community group involved – what do I do next?

Get in touch with Rich so that we can find out where you are based and if it’s an area we can cover logistically. We can supply suitable materials including a short film, high-quality leaflets and posters and we would be willing to come visit and talk about the appeal at your assembly or evening meeting if you are close to Salisbury.

The deadline for registering your interest in supporting the appeal is

How do I prepare a Christmas box?

  1. Find an old shoebox. Ideally a regular sized one.
  2. Gift wrap it. Separately wrap the bottom of the box and the lid in suitable festive paper.
  3. Download a flyer. Separate (cut along lines) the age/gender tag from the “YOUR DETAILS” form and the envelope section.
  4. If you are promoting the appeal at your business, church or school you can also download a poster.
  5. Decide who you’d like the box to go to. (See age/gender tag.)
    If you would like to do more than one box you can download extra tags. We really need more boxes for boys and men!
  6. Have fun selecting and buying items for your recipient 
    See our suggestions below for ideas. Place each item unwrapped in the box (each box must be checked before it leaves the UK).
    Items such as shampoo should be placed in a clear plastic bag.
  7. Tick the appropriate age/gender category and then attach the tag to the lid of your box.
    Fill out the ‘Your Details’ form and put this into the box too.
  8. Transport costs are high so please consider including a £2.50 donation inside the envelope.
    Cash or cheques accepted (made payable to “The Trussell Trust”). Seal the envelope and place in the box. If you are donating more than one box it is fine for you to write one cheque to cover all the boxes you donate. It costs thousands of pounds to run the Christmas Box Appeal, so we ask everyone to consider giving £2.50 for each shoebox made. If the costs are covered we will use any extra money leftover to support our other Balkans projects.
  9. Gift Aid it
    If you are a UK tax payer please tick the Gift Aid box on the “YOUR DETAILS” form, allowing us to claim a further 25p for every £1 donated. If possible please staple this form to the donation envelope.
  10. Secure the lid of the Christmas box with an elastic band.
  11. Deliver your shoeboxes to The Trussell Trust by
    Boxes can be delivered to your participating school, church or organisation, to any of our shops or directly to 6B Ashfield Trading Estate, Salisbury.

Suggestions for box fillers

  • Toiletries:soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, facecloth, sponge, wet wipes, deodorant (roll-on only), comb, brush, razors, shaving foam.
  • New clothes:gloves, scarf, hat, underwear, socks, baby-grows.
  • Stationery:pens, pencils, notepads, erasers, colouring books,
  • Toys:teddies, jigsaws, balls, dolls, vehicles
  • Other:make up (new only), sewing kits, candles, small household tools, sweets, hair accessories.
  • Please note that we are unable to accept foodstuffs (except sweets & chocolate), seeds, books, talc, aerosols, medicines and pills.

Drop off your completed boxes

Our deadline is

  • Please take your completed Christmas Boxes to our warehouse at Unit 6B, Ashfield Trading Estate, Ashfield Road, Salisbury SP2 7HL.
  • You can also drop them off at our Trussell Trust shops in Salisbury (Catherine Street & Bemerton Heath), Farnborough, Verwood, Ferndown, Winton, Boscombe (See our shops addresses on this page).
  • Many schools, churches, businesses and community groups in Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset support the appeal, so you may be able to give a box through them. If your group is not involved and you would like them to be, get in touch with us and we can arrange a talk or presentation.

What if I’m nowhere near Salisbury and I want to donate?

  • Donate below and we’ll fill a box for you.

Donate now

We rely on our fabulous donors and volunteers to make this project a success. Would you like to volunteer at our sorting warehouse this November?

Please get in touch with                if you’d like to find out more about volunteering to help with the sorting and packing process. This year we will be sorting and packing boxes at Wiltshire College, in Salisbury.

Wiltshire College

Southampton Rd (A36)






For further enquiries please get in touch with Rich Parsons

T: 01722 580192