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What preparations are being done for Shoebox Appeal 2023?

The 2022 Shoebox Appeal was coming to an end and the clearing up at the Collection Point was taking place. Julia Search agreed to take away and store surplus filler items. This included toothbrushes, hats, scarves, and gloves to be used in the 2023 Appeal.

Jane and Stella Barnes helped to sort through the knitted items to see what was needed to make complete and matching sets. They set about knitting hats, scarves, snoods, gloves and tissue purses for women and girls.

Any shopping trips meant looking for bargains, such as for socks and underwear. These are the essential items listed in the shoebox checklist.

A spreadsheet of items collected is regularly updated and shared with members so that those wishing to take part can ensure they only purchase items needed. This is accompanied by the Shoebox leaflet with checklist from Blythswood.  For those members unable to do the shopping then a personal shopper service is offered.

In August, our speaker was Lorna Bailey, a long term Blythswood volunteer who shared her experience of going to Serbia to see the shoeboxes being delivered.

We hope to fill between 75 and 100 shoeboxes for 2023. Members and friends have been collecting shoeboxes and we have found it easier if they can be covered ahead of the evening set aside (23 October) at Angela Howe’s to fill the shoeboxes.

Each year, a Sponsored knit is held to raise monies towards the transport costs of the shoeboxes. Medway and Maidstone Soroptimists are fielding a small team of knitters for the event on 16 October.

This year the shoeboxes from the Southeast Collection Point will be sent to Ukraine. The venue for the Collection Point is Lok’n’Store in Gillingham. It will operate from 25 October to mid December.