Here's how to get involved in this year's Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal
Christmas is bound to be a little different this year.
Things might be difficult here in Ireland due to the coronavirus pandemic, but chances are they're even more difficult for children and families living in poverty in Eastern Europe and Africa.
That's why this year's Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal is more important than ever.
Each year, the charity sends thousands of shoeboxes filled with gifts to children in need. Oftentimes, this is the only gift these children will receive at Christmas.
This year's drive, however, will be a little different. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the entire shoebox campaign will take place online, giving the generous folk of Ireland the chance to virtually fill a shoebox on the Team Hope website and send it to a child - all from the comfort of their own home.
“Due to the effects of Covid-19 restrictions, it is not possible to send gift-filled shoeboxes from Ireland this year," said Team Hope CEO Peter Heaney.
"But we know that the need for shoeboxes is greater than ever. So we have for the first time moved the campaign completely online, developed a brand new website to facilitate building a box and enlisted the help of our local partners in Africa and Eastern Europe to create and deliver shoeboxes on the ground.”
Peter added that 2020's appeal won't be about the actual filling of the box itself, but about considering why people fill a shoebox in general.
As always, every shoebox counts. But this year's campaign may be the most important the charity has ever run.
“This year provides a pivotal moment for us all to reflect," said Peter. "The Covid-19 crisis has presented huge challenges for people throughout Ireland, so you can only imagine the immeasurable impact that Covid-19 has had in countries where basic sanitation and access to education is far from universal."
So, here's how you get involved.
As mentioned above, this year's Team Hope drive will not involve the physical filling of shoeboxes. Rather, you can fill a virtual shoebox online for €20, which will then be sent directly to a child in need.
Team Hope shoeboxes should be filled with items beginning with the 4 Ws.
Write: Something a child can write with, such as pens, pencils, markets, and paper
Wash: Something a child can use to wash with, like soap, toothpaste, or a face cloth
Wear: Something a child can wear, like a T-shirt, a scarf, a hat, or socks
Wow: Something to wow a child, like a soft toy or some sweets.
This year's Team Hope Shoebox Appeal will run all the way up until December 23. The charity is calling on all individuals, schools, and businesses to #TeamUpForTeamHope and deliver as many shoeboxes as they can to children in need.
November 9 - 15 also marks Team Hope's Christmas Shoebox Appeal Week, so if you were looking for the perfect time to head online and fill your virtual box, make it then.
2020's drive will deliver shoeboxes to children in Romania, Transnistria (Moldova), Ukraine, Kosova, Albania, Belarus, Burundi, Congo, Lesotho, Eswatini (Swaziland), Malawi, Kenya, Burkina Faso, and Rwanda.