Christmas Shoebox Appeal FAQ

What is the Christmas Shoebox Appeal?

The Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal is an annual campaign where thousands of people across Ireland donate shoeboxes filled with gifts for children affected by poverty in Africa or Eastern Europe. It is an opportunity to share a little joy and excitement with children who live in circumstances where these can often be in short supply.

Why is the Christmas Shoebox Appeal going online?

Due to the effects of Covid-19 restrictions, it is not possible to send gift-filled Christmas shoeboxes from Ireland. However, donating a shoebox online will allow Team Hope’s network of partners in distribution countries to purchase items for shoeboxes locally. These shoeboxes will then be delivered into the hands of children in hospitals, schools, shelters, churches, orphanages, community centres or family homes, where the need is great, in countries across Africa and Eastern Europe.

How do I donate to the Appeal?

You can donate a Christmas Shoebox on for €20.
Team Hope is also encouraging communities, offices, schools, families and friends to #TeamUpForTeamHope in any way they safely can to fundraise together to purchase shoeboxes. Every shoebox counts and particularly this year.

Where do your Christmas shoeboxes go?

This year, Team Hope expent to send your Christmas Shoebox gifts to children in Albania, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Kosovo, Lesotho, Malawi, Romania, Rwanda, eSwatini (Swaziland), Transnistria (Moldova) and Ukraine.

Who are the Christmas shoeboxes given to?

Christmas Shoeboxes are given to children, aged 2-14 years, in Africa and Eastern Europe.

In 2019 Team Hope delivered 270,488 Shoeboxes to 13 different countries: Albania, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Kosova, Lesotho, Malawi, Romania, eSwatini (Swaziland), Transnistria (Moldova) and Ukraine.

Christmas Shoeboxes are given to children who are most vulnerable. In many cases this means children who are living in poverty. These are identified with the help of charities, local churches or with the help of the local government.

Criteria used to identify vulnerable children include:

  • Children from families affected by poverty (i.e. low income or unemployed households)
  • Children from single parent families, or with ill parents
  • Children with no living parents
  • Children living with disabilities or illness
  • Children from ethnic or social groups facing discrimination
  • Children living in institutions (e.g. orphanages, groups homes etc)

How can I get involved?

There are plenty of ways to get involved! You could start by purchasing a Christmas shoebox for €20 on and encouraging your family, business, school, church or sports club to do the same. You can team up with family, friends, neighbours or colleagues to raise money to purchase shoeboxes online. See for ideas and guidance.

We’re also always looking for volunteers to help spread the word about the Appeal. If you’d like to volunteer and become involved with one of our local teams you can find details on our website of a local volunteer coordinator you can contact.

How do I personalise my box?

You will also be able to build-a-box choosing items from the 4W’s that you would like to add into your ‘ideal’ box. These gifts are based on Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal’s 4Ws – Wash, Write, Wear and Wow.

By purchasing a shoebox online, you can also personalise your shoebox by uploading a picture or image. There are some worksheets which you can download and print to help share a little about yourself with the recipient of your box. Once you’ve completed your shoebox donation you’ll receive an email with a link to upload a photo or scan of these. Team Hope will send these to our partners to print and put into a Shoebox.

How can I follow Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal online?

You can follow the latest news and updates from Team Hope on:
Facebook at
Twitter at @TeamHopeIreland
Instagram at @TeamHopeIreland

Or using the campaign hashtags

When is the deadline for Christmas Shoeboxes?

The sooner you can purchase your Christmas shoebox online the quicker Team Hope can arrange for them to be delivered!

Team Hope will be holding its first Christmas Shoebox Appeal Week from 9th – 15th November, where everyone will be encouraged to fundraise and work together, in whatever way they can safely, to build shoeboxes online and share their updates on social media using #TeamUpForTeamHope. During this week schools will also be encouraged to take part in lessons around the Appeal, the impact of a shoebox and the importance of giving.

The final date that shoeboxes can be purchased is 23rd December 2020.

What does the €20 donation for a Christmas shoebox cover?

A €20 donation for a Christmas shoebox covers the purchase of shoebox contents, based on the 4W’s – items to Wash, Write, Wear and Wow. This donation also goes towards the cost of making the whole Shoebox Appeal programme happen, including promotion, transport and delivering of your box to each child. If there are any surplus funds, they are used for on-going development work with children, their families and communities. Details of this work alongside Team Hope’s annual audited accounts can be found on our website.

How much of your money goes on actual charitable activities?

In the last financial year 95% of Team Hope’s expenditure was spent on direct charitable activities and the remaining 5% covered support costs, governance and the cost of raising funds.

I can’t donate €20, can I make a smaller donation?

Yes, there are lots of ways you can donate any amount to make a box. This year we’re encouraging everyone to take part in whatever way they can and this could mean taking part in a fundraiser, getting together with friends to donate boxes together or helping promote the appeal. Any donation, no matter how small will help us get as many boxes as possible.

Is Team Hope still accepting physical boxes?

Unfortunately, Team Hope cannot accept physical shoeboxes for the 2020 Christmas Shoebox Appeal. If you do have shoeboxes already packed we’d encourage you to keep them somewhere safe until next year.

Please contact Team Hope at or on (01) 294 0222 for further information and advice.

I already packed shoeboxes, what will I do with them?

If you do have shoeboxes already packed we’re very grateful for your support. We’d encourage you to keep them somewhere safe until next year. If they contain sweets, please check the sell by date on these to ensure they are still in date to March 2022.

Please contact Team Hope at or on (01) 294 0222 for further information and advice.

How will you know that Christmas Shoeboxes are delivered this year?

Team Hope works with trusted locally based partners, many of which we have been working with for many years. Team Hope has clear guidelines for distributing shoeboxes which include requirements for partners to report in detail on the distribution of shoeboxes and the funds spent to create them.

Team Hope will endeavour to ensure gift items selected online are purchased. However, in some cases due to local needs or availability, this may not be exactly possible. In some countries, purchasing a shoebox may not be possible and in these cases Team Hope’s partners will deliver gifts in other packaging such as reusable draw-string bags.

What does being a Christian Charity mean?

Team Hope, like many other organisations, has been motivated to help others based on the beliefs in the Christian tradition, which are compassion, social justice and the inherent value and dignity of all people. In line with these beliefs, we ensure that shoeboxes are given to children based on need alone, regardless of race, religion, political affiliation etc., and with nothing asked for in return.