Fill a Shoebox brings Christmas joy to Horowhenua kids

Published on 20 December 2017

Fill a Shoebox.

Around 1000 Horowhenua kids received Christmas presents this year thanks to the Fill a Shoebox project led by Horowhenua District Council, Oranga Tamariki and the NZ Police.

The project called for local businesses, organisations and residents to support families facing difficulty affording Christmas presents for their children by filling a shoebox with gifts, such as toys, books, sweet treats, toothbrushes, and colouring-in and craft equipment.

Individuals, families, businesses and organisations could create or sponsor a shoebox, or help in other ways, such as collecting, wrapping and delivering parcels or helping to promote the project.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the community’s generosity and the response from schools, community groups and other organisations,” said Sophie Parrant, Horowhenua District Council’s Youth Development Advisor.

Ms Parrant said the project organisers have been impressed by the different ways people have got involved.

She said Ōtaki College did a mufti day to raise money, Coley Street School packed over 40 shoeboxes, Levin Menz Shed made toys, and Contact Energy, MASH Trust and The Warehouse filled many shoeboxes.

More than 900 shoeboxes were donated, and money raised by the Rotary Club of Levin, Electra Business After 5 and sausage sizzles was used to buy extra gifts.

The shoeboxes were decorated with colourful wrapping paper and distributed to young people aged up to 15 years on Wednesday 20 December.

“The best thing about this project is that every bit of the work we do contributes directly to our community – everything goes to kids and families between Tokomaru and Ōtaki. It’s a great cause,” Ms Parrant said.