Christmas Shoebox Appeal

Christmas Shoebox Appeal 2016

shoebox2A small shoebox could have a huge impact on someone facing homelessness this holiday season.

In addition to our Christmas ‘Give a Dinner appeal‘ this year, and in response to our successful appeal last year, which you can read about here, we are asking people to prepare a shoebox of gifts for someone in Hampshire facing homelessness this Christmas.

We’ve provided this handy little list of suggestions to help you put together a really welcome gift for the people we are supporting at this time. All of the people receiving gift boxes are adults or young adults over 16 years of age.

This list is not exclusive or exhaustive; please pick and chose contents that fit your own time commitments and budget:



Toiletries of all sorts are always needed; shampoo/conditioner, shower gel, wet wipes, toothpaste/toothbrushes, mouthwash, vaseline/lip balm, sanitary products, flannels, razors, shaving foam, handcream, hair brushes & bands, etc.




‘Treat’ items such as chocolates, sachets of drinks/cup a soup, biscuits, maybe items such as a book, a notepad and pen, a torch, batteries, mobile phone chargers, travel first aid kits.




Other small items such as ear plugs, eye masks, small towels, hat/gloves/scarves and underwear – particularly socks! (Underwear must be new, with tags, please).




household items

Essential Household Items

Household essential items – Toilet roll, washing powder, washing up liquid & sponges, cleaning sprays and cloths, teatowels.

A number of the boxes provided will be delivered to people we support who are in their own supported accommodation, but still vulnerable to homelessness, or people moving on from our hostels into their own accommodation. Donating household items, such as these, are really appreciated. They help people to stretch their money a little further whilst they are still taking the first steps to transform their lives.


shoebox card

A Christmas/Holidays Card

A Christmas card – it would be nice if the person receiving the box could know who you are and why you wanted to send them a gift at Christmas. Please do not give out any personal identifying information.

For a lot of people who are homeless, Christmas is a particularly isolating time. It means a great deal to the people we support to know that people like you are thinking of them during the festive season.


We currently support 3,000 people across Hampshire and will be able to distribute these gifts to people facing homelessness, throughout the County, of which, around 70% of the people we support are men.


You may wish to consider whether your gift is for a male, female or unisex and label the shoebox accordingly.  We’ve made this label for you to complete,  if you would like to fill this in to send with your shoebox.

If possible, please wrap your shoebox in Christmas paper, with the lid wrapped separately.  Thank you!

We will be taking delivery of Christmas Shoeboxes, or items donated for Christmas to be made-up into shoeboxes, from MONDAY 17th OCTOBER until MONDAY 19TH DECEMBER


When you are ready to deliver your shoebox, you can visit the SSJ Head Office in Southampton, 9-5 Monday to Thursday, or 9-4.30 on Friday (until December 19th 2016)

Or if outside office hours; boxes can be delivered to our hostels in

Southampton: 10, Southampton Street, SO15 2ED


Portsmouth: All Saints, 2 All Saints’ St, Portsmouth PO1 4QA

If you run out of time to prepare a shoebox, don’t panic. You can still make a huge difference to someone facing homelessness this Christmas by choosing to Give a Dinner for just £10.

If you have any questions regarding either appeal, please contact:


We were overwhelmed that our 2015 Shoebox Appeal meant around 300 vulnerable people we support received a generous box of gifts, over Christmas.  Thank you so much to everyone who donated! Read reactions from staff and recipients on our ‘Shoebox Appeal: The Result’ post!


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19 Responses to Christmas Shoebox Appeal

  1. abbie welsh November 21, 2015 at 10:19 am #

    hi my school has been doing this charity for ages and this year were doing it again are whole school is involed and even though we don’t know how much this means to the kids I hope they have the best Christmas ever im only 12 and I think this charity you are doing is amazing

    • Dee November 23, 2015 at 9:25 am #

      Hi Abbie,

      Our shoeboxes are going to people facing homeless, people who are over 16 and living in our hostels, shared houses, and flats. It means a great deal to people to receive a gift at Christmas because it is a time of year that can be very isolating and lonely. We really appreciate all of the people who choose to pack a shoebox for someone living in our services this season. Thank you.

  2. Laura Daniels November 24, 2015 at 2:09 pm #


    If I prepare a shoebox where can I send it to?
    Can you email me please I would also like a reply to know who received my gift.
    Thank you

    • Sam Bax November 24, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

      Hi Laura,

      You can drop boxes in to our Head Office at Albert Road South or directly in to our hostels to 10 Southampton Street, Southampton or 2, All Saints Street, Portsmouth.

      The gifts will be distributed throughout our projects, I am unsure if we will be able to let you know directly who received your specific box, but we can try! Leave your name/address with staff when you deliver your box.

  3. Jayne Veazey November 24, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

    Hi Sam,

    I know this may sound silly but the hardest thing seems to be finding a number of empty shoe boxes. Does it matter if I fill Christmas Bags or another size box? Or did you want them all in shoe boxes so they are the same size?


    • Sam Bax November 24, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

      Hi Jane,

      We understand! Christmas Bags or other boxes are a lovely idea and yes, more than acceptable, thank you!

      Our End Youth Homelessness partners, the Dune Group in West Quay Southampton, may also be able to help you out. If you’re in Southampton City Centre, it’s worth asking as they occasionally have some available.

      Hope that helps! Kind regards,


      • Jayne Veazey November 24, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

        Thanks Sam. That’s great – I’m really looking forward to making some up.

        One other question. My son see someone from the St James’s team at Fareham Civic Offices a couple of times a week. Is it possible to drop them off there or is it only the Southampton and Portsmouth addresses for drop off of the boxes?

  4. Rachel Beckett November 25, 2015 at 12:24 am #

    Hi there,

    I am guessing I should indicate what age I am buying for too? For example if I buy socks I need to specify what size range they are I’m guessing?

    • Dee November 25, 2015 at 10:40 am #

      Hi Rachel

      Our shoeboxes are all for adults so just saying whether they are medium or large would probably be fine.
      Many thanks,

  5. Laura Taylor December 11, 2015 at 9:53 am #

    Hello, my name is Laura Taylor, and I am leaving a message on behalf of the whole company here and Hytek. This year we thought instead of a secret santa for each other, we would do the Shoebox donation instead. Even though we are not close to your location, we will be sending the collection of shoe boxes via FedEx to Kay Harcus on reception.

    We would like to ask you, is there a cut off date in which we can get the boxes to you?

    • Sam Bax December 11, 2015 at 11:10 am #

      Hello Laura,

      Thank you so much, that is very generous of you and will really make a difference to the people we support. The cut-off date is ideally, 18th December. Please contact us on if this will be difficult for you.

      Kind regards,


      • Laura Taylor December 11, 2015 at 11:16 am #

        Hi Sam, thanks for your quick reply. That’s not a problem, we have set our dispatch date to the 16th Dec 🙂 Thank you

        • Sam Bax December 11, 2015 at 11:21 am #

          That’s wonderful! Thank you so much- that is so kind of you and your team. Merry Christmas!

          Best wishes,


  6. Sarah November 17, 2016 at 9:02 am #

    silly question, where would you like the label? does it matter?

    • Sam Bax November 18, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

      Hi Sarah,

      As long as it’s visible, it doesn’t really matter! Thank you for getting involved!


  7. Alexandra Williams December 5, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    Hi Guys, I have got our office and a couple of family members to do a few boxes for you. We will send you about 7-8 boxes. I will send them via APC on the16th so you get them for the 19th. Which is the best address to send them too? Thanks 🙂

    • Sam Bax December 6, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

      Hi Alexandra,

      Thanks so much for getting involved with our Christmas Shoebox Appeal this year. Could you please have them delivered to our Head Office, 125 Albert Road South, Southampton, SO14 3FR. Thank You!

      • Laura Taylor December 6, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

        Hytek will be sending a collection of boxes again this year, we have had some cloths, and children cuddly toys donated, will these also be worth sending, but in one large box for you to have a look at?


  1. Help the homeless this Christmas | Solent Journalism - December 1, 2015

    […] are also running a shoebox appeal, for anyone who feels they would like to make someone a small gift package and donations can be […]

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