Christmas Shoebox Collection 2018

The scale of response to our joint appeal for gift-filled shoeboxes has again been excellent, reflecting the persistent generosity of schoolchildren and residents of Cranleigh and surrounding areas. This year we collected over 1,000 boxes from 11 local schools (listed below) and parishioners of St Nicolas Church, as well as members of the public and personnel in local businesses.

In addition, following a timely request, we benefitted from a most gracious donation from two schools of 66 musical instruments (strings, brass, woodwind and keyboards) plus two guitars from a local ex-professional guitarist. These donations were supplemented by many bags of clothing and toys from a Leatherhead charity, as well as similar gifts delivered to Cranleigh from Frimpton, Sevenoaks and Poole.

Romania shoe box child

All the gifts were packed at the 'barn' of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) this year and we are most grateful for their invaluable cooperation. In addition, we are grateful to many local organisations who helped by providing, for example, cartons, palettes and truck-loading equipment. Indeed, the truck sent to Romania on 23 November was filled to 'overflowing' with gifts (and generosity).

Each of the gifts will undoubtedly enhance the quality of Christmas for many disadvantaged families in Hunedoara, western Romania and, as in previous years, the truck-load of gifts will be distributed by the key person in this 'shoebox campaign', namely Pastor Corneliu Medrea. He, together with his wife Diana, set up the Bethlehem Centre ( in Hunedoara, western Romania in the 1990's. As well as conducting Christian activities, the centre also seeks to develop practical projects to meet the dire physical and material needs of those around them.

They have used donated aid over the years to create not only a community social-care centre, but also to provide hygiene facilities for children in families with no running water or electricity, as well as a daily-meals programme for children with little or no food. They also operate after-school clubs to support the educational needs of illiterate children.

Here is a selection of photos taken during the collection of the shoeboxes and instruments from some of the schools. 

Shoeboxes 2018Shoeboxes 2018 (2)










St Cuthbert Mayne Primary School                               Wonersh & Shamley Green Primary                                                                                                      School

Shoeboxes 2018 (3)

              Cranleigh Preparatory School with a selection of donated musical instruments

Eleven schools that donated more than 800 boxes: Cranleigh C of E Primary School; Park Mead Primary School; Cranleigh Preparatory School; Peaslake Free School; St Cuthbert Mayne Catholic Primary School; Cranleigh School; St Joseph's Specialist School and College; Glebelands County Secondary School; Rikkyo School, Rudgwick; Longacre School, Shamley Green; and Wonersh & Shamley Green Primary School.

Organisations/companies that helped St Nicolas and Cranleigh Rotary: Riding for the Disabled Association; Stennett Plant Hire; Manns Removals; JEM Marketing & Fulfilment Services Ltd; Manns of Cranleigh; Oaktax; Jewsons; Cockerills; and Celebration Cakes.