About Us

We are a team of volunteers committed to providing help to children and families who are living in abject poverty in Eastern Europe, through no fault of their own.

The charity (Reg 1153106) is managed by 5 Trustees: Amanda Robb, Jonathan Robb, Karen Simkins, Rhona Teale and Shirley Waters.

Our main project is the Christmas shoebox campaign, and any excess funding we have goes towards educational projects.  Our aim is to help families to help themselves.

Boxes of Hope is a humanitarian aid charity whose ethos is one of caring and compassion, giving practical help to disadvantaged children and their families.  We welcome shoebox donors and volunteers of all races and beliefs, and shoeboxes are given unconditionally to children of all races and beliefs.

One of our partners in Romania is People to People Foundation, Oradea, a Christian charity working at the heart of communities to improve lives and enable long term change for children and their families.  Boxes of Hope is fully supportive of the work of People to People, but has no direct input into any spiritual/religious development of children accessed through our projects.  Contact with People to People is made by the Trustees, and not by individuals.

We are developing  links with other charities and groups in Romania, to provide help to as wide a range of families as possible.

Our work is based in 5 different centres – Barrow in Furness, Kendal, Ambleside, Kirkby Stephen and Lancaster. We also bring together individuals and communities throughout our area: we encourage knitting and craft groups, coffee mornings and other fund raising events throughout the year, as well as shoebox covering and shoebox filling parties in September and October, and the main campaign in November. This is a project which involves literally hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers.  We have been pleased to welcome support from North Lancashire, from Sunderland and from individuals throughout the UK and beyond who have been inspired by the work we do.

Schools play a huge part in the project – each child takes home a leaflet, then there may be a school assembly in the autumn term prior to the children bringing in their filled shoeboxes at the beginning of November.  Churches, youth groups, work groups and groups of friends and family are also encouraged to take part.

Shops and businesses within the area act as drop-off points, where individuals and groups take their shoeboxes in November.

Volunteer drivers collect the shoeboxes and take them to the warehouses (generously donated), where a team of volunteers checks the contents to ensure that no broken, soiled or inappropriate items have been put in. Money (necessary for leaflets, posters, cartons and transport) is removed from the box, recorded and banked daily. The shoeboxes are packed into cartons, and the cartons numbered and stacked ready for loading. A wagon is loaded and the shoeboxes despatched directly to Romania ready for our team to distribute in December.