Christmas Shoebox Appeal

Bring some Cheer to vulnerable people this Christmas time, by making up a shoebox full of treats!

Many people look forward to Christmas as the most joyful time of year. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. For vulnerable people, those living in hostels, refuges or on the streets, and older people living on their own, Christmas can be a hard, lonely time. 

You can help to bring some sparkle to the winter months, by filling a shoebox with treats to be given to some of the most marginalised people in our city, or donating individual items to enrich other boxes. For many, this may be the only Christmas present they receive this year, so make sure to include plenty of little luxuries to put a smile on someone’s face!

Your box will be given to local charities who will distribute them to the vulnerable people they support. Examples of charities supported are: Ben's Centre, Archer project, St Wilfrids Centre, Framework, Roundabout, Ashiana, Depaul

Make your own box or join with your friends and make one together! *** Are you part of a sports club or society? How many can you make as a team?

Where to drop off your boxes? Sheffield Volunteering, Activities Zone, Sheffield Students' Union

When to drop off your boxes? Monday - Friday, 10am - 5pm. Deadline to drop off your boxes = Wednesday 1 December (this has been extended to 12pm on Friday 3 December)

Don't have a shoebox? You can still donate individual items which can be used to enrich other boxes.

What should your box look like? 

  • Wrap your shoebox (or similar sized box) with Christmas wrapping paper, so that the lid can be opened – all boxes have to be opened and checked. 
  • Include a Christmas card and a message
  • Label Male or Female (it might be nice to theme your box suitable for Male or Female NB. If you cannot decide, make a Male box, as boxes for men are more needed)
  • Include a mix of things in each box – Clothes/ Christmas Food/ Toiletries/ Treats (see below a detailed list)
  • Fill the box as much as you can, and include luxury items, as well as practical ones
  • Remember to remove price tags.

What to put in your box? Your box does not need to contain every item on the list, but there should be at least one item from each category in each box.


  • Toiletry Gift Set
  • Body Spray or Perfume
  • Body Creams and Lotions
  • Luxury Bath or Shower or Toiletry Items (eg gift soaps, body lotions)


  • Warm Hat
  • Gloves
  • Scarf
  • Warm socks


  • Chocolates, Sweets or Treats
  • Christmas Snacks
  • Sachets of Luxury Hot Chocolate / with mini marshmallows

Entertainment Items:

  • Games, such as Dominoes or Cards
  • Quiz cards or Puzzle books
  • Books or Magazines
  • Small Craft Kits

Other items:

  • Reusable Drinks Bottles, Mugs or Cups
  • Photo Frame
  • Small Torch
  • Keyrings
  • Christmas Items or Ornaments
  • Trinkets or Gift items
  • Mini Hot Water Bottle
  • Gift cards for places such as Costa or Greggs

Items more suited to boxes for Females: Scented Reed diffuser // Battery operated fairy lights (with batteries) // Make up and nail varnish // Jewelry and hair ornaments

What not to include:

  • Tins of food, or any food that needs cooking
  • Food that will be out of date before Christmas
  • Large bars of soap
  • Razors
  • Any open or used toiletries and large bottles of toiletries
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Alcohol
  • Knives, or tools that contain knives
  • Sanitary products
  • Children's toys or Childrens/adult clothes
  • Money

If you have any questions, please email us at :)

Share photos of your box with Sheffield Volunteering social media pages: Facebook /sheffieldvolunteering Twitter @Shef_Volunteer Instagram /sheffieldvolunteering