Operation Christmas Child

Sonia McGough – Quality and Performance Lead

operation christmas child

This year Mental Health Matters are supporting Operation Christmas Child and we’d really love all of our services to get involved and support this truly worthwhile cause!

For those of you who don’t know what Operation Christmas Child is, it’s often referred to as the ‘shoebox appeal’ and basically involves you filling a standard shoebox with gifts and treats which will then be distributed to underprivileged children living in Africa, Eastern Europe or Central Asia.

The appeal is run by an organisation called The Samaritan’s Purse. If you want more info, the link for the website is:


What do you have to do?

If you would like to get involved this is what you need to do;

1. Find a ‘medium’ empty shoebox

2. Decide if your box is for a Girl or Boy (or you might like to do one for each) and also which age range (2-4, 5-9, 10-14) – print off a label, tick the appropriate age box and stick the label on the outside of the lid (top right).

3. Fill your box with age appropriate NEW gifts from the following list – see link below (do not include any items on the ‘No Thanks’ list)


Where to Take Your Shoe Boxes?

4. For services in the North East, you can bring your boxes into Avalon (with a £3 donation per box) by the 14th November. They will then be dropped them off at a local collection point.
For many of our services outside of the North East, we realise that this would be a little tricky, however there are local collection points throughout the country and they can be found by putting the service postcode into the following search engine:


Let us know how many boxes you have managed to collect

5. We’d love to collect and donate as many boxes as possible and will be running a news story about our involvement in this appeal on our website in time for Christmas. So with that in mind, please keep track of how many boxes your service managed to collect and donate and we will be in touch before we run the news article.

The team at Avalon are collecting boxes in lieu of sending Christmas Cards to each other. Your services could do the same – so as well as giving a wonderful Christmas gift to children who will otherwise not receive anything, you’d be also doing your bit for the environment!!!

Many Thanks in anticipation of your support,