I did mention it earlier that I had volunteered to help out at my local drop off centre for the Santa Shoebox Project.

It was a really fun 3 days and I have huge respect for the ladies who organised this event. Our drop off centre ran like a well oiled machine. Every things we, as volunteers, needed to know was clearly marked and displayed.

I spent my 3 shifts checking the boxes. How it worked was boxes came in, they names get crossed off at check in, they then come to us to check them, then get packed into boxes for the respective facilities. From the school they went go to a warehouse and then to the facilities.

Each box gets checked to ensure that all the items are in fact there, that the clothes are the right size, the sweets and stationery are age appropriate. If the boxes are damaged or too big then we have to swop them for other boxes. NOTHING gets removed from the box unless it is inappropriate/not allowed and even then it is swopped out – so if you put 10 items in the child receives 10 items. The check list really made it a lot easier for those buying boxes and for the most part there was very little swopping out – mainly suckers swopped out for sweets more suitable for under 5s and the clothes for the teenagers were often way too big.

I went back yesterday evening with Kiara to help with the last checking that needed to be done and I am glad I took her along so she could understand it all a little better and also be a part of the process.

I know a lot of you work but next year if possible get your department involved and even if you each donate an hour of your time it will go a long way in helping.