Shoebox Collection 2020

Shoebox Romanain child

For the past 12 years, Cranleigh Rotarians have assisted St Nicolas Church and local schools to collect shoeboxes filled with gifts for disadvantaged children in Romania. This year, at the request of St Nicolas Church, Cranleigh Rotary took on the sole responsibility for organising the event. 

Due to the possible effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was decided to pursue a combined 'Real' and 'Virtual' shoebox-giving strategy. This enabled donors to either fill a shoebox or make a cash donation, which would then be used to purchase suitable gifts in Romania for disadvantaged children.

An unexpected problem was faced earlier this year with the imposition of the first lockdown, which required a decision as to whether to hold the appeal at all. Despite some reservations, it was decided to proceed. but to ensure that government restrictions were observed.
It was recognised that some of the schools and other organisations would not participate, but several expressed a desire to make a donation. As a result, a Justgiving page was set up by the Club, using its Charity Account.
Following a publicity campaign and the creation of a special leaflet, collections were arranged from the local schools and collection points in the village.
shoeboxes 2020 (2)
shoeboxes 2020 (1)
Almost 350 boxes were received, many more than had been anticipated. Six local schools contributed about 180 shoeboxes and more than £480 in cash and local village community members donated about 165 boxes (plus many, many other gifts) and over £200 in cash.
These totals were significantly supplemented by nearly 80 cash donations on the Rotary’s ‘Romanian Appeal’ JustGiving weblink which amounted to some £3,200 (plus over £315 in Gift Aid). This will be sent by bank transfer to Romania and be used to purchase Christmas gifts for local deprived children.
The £2 coins added to the boxes to cover transport costs were removed and 31 large cartons filled. Riding for the Disabled, whose barn had been kindly loaned, was the central collection point for other organisations in the UK, so in total there were 8 pallets, containing some 1,000 boxes, loaded onto the truck for onward shipment to Romania.

Despite many offers, the number of Rotarians involved have been restricted, in order to observe social distancing. Thanks go to all those who offered help and to Richard Kenyon, Brian Arendell and David Barrett and particularly to David Barry for all their efforts in difficult circumstances.

For a copy of the 'appeal leaflet' or further information contact Rotarian David Barry, at or 07966-887115.

Alternatively, if you want to donate a sum of money toward this good cause, please go to the JustGiving website: