Can you help shoebox appeal for Operation Christmas Child?

Can you help shoebox appeal for Operation Christmas Child?
PACK LEADERS: (L-R) Organiser Madeleine McClintock and Warehouse Manager Sarah Smith with volunteers Emma, Simon and Paddy Parmiter

Locally based property management company Tyler Holdings has kindly lent Operation Christmas Child the use of Unit 5 at Cannon Bridge Industrial Estate in Tonbridge.

Last year, local residents sent in more than 40,000 shoeboxes full of gifts for children living in difficult circumstances in Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East.

The venue will allow the charity to check the tens of thousands of shoeboxes that it is expecting to be donated to the project.

Helen Taylor, of Anglefix ironmongers in Tonbridge, will be coordinating volunteers in the warehouse this Christmas.

She said: “Last year 600 fantastic local people helped sort shoeboxes from all over Kent and Sussex and load them on to lorries. Do come and join us.”

The checking is carried out by trained volunteers who make sure that shoeboxes are compliant for safety and customs before packing and loading them for shipping.

Arriva Southern Counties has also provided car parking spaces close by, and Gilbert & Stamper Electricians is generously checking the electricity in the warehouse.

You can receive training to volunteer as a checker at Unit 5, which will be open from 10am-4pm Monday to Friday until Friday, then 10am-9pm Monday to Thursday, 10am-4pm on Fridays and 10am-2pm on Saturdays until December 8.

The closing date for donations is this Sunday November 18.

You can find decorative pre-printed boxes, free resources, and the nearest location where you can drop off your shoebox, at

For more information, email

Where to drop your boxes

Local collection points include:

Tonbridge Baptist Church in Darenth Avenue

Shoe Zone in Tonbridge High Street

St John’s Church in Hildenborough

Christ Church In Prospect Road, Southborough

Christ Church in Tunbridge Wells High Street

Tunbridge Wells Baptist Church in Upper Grosvenor Road


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