Sheffield volunteers collect thousands of boxes filled with Christmas gifts for the vulnerable

More than 3,200 shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts for vulnerable people have been collected by volunteers across Sheffield.

Sheffield Shoebox Appeal, a volunteer-run organization since 2013, has been working with 35 charities and numerous schools during the festive period to help the people in need.

Chris Sexton, one of the coordinators, said this years’ numbers were indicating a huge success.

“We’re still counting but I’m pleased to say we’ve done well and beaten our aim which was roughly around 3,000 boxes.”

She said they were running the campaign between 1 November and 7 December with 15 drop-off points around the city.

Ms Sexton added: “We were collecting gifts for the homeless, rough sleepers, the elderly, as well as for young women and men in refuges and mothers and babies in hostels.”

She said they went through every single box as they wanted to hand out as many personalised gifts as possible.

“If we are making a box for a homeless person, we put in hats, gloves, socks, scarves, food, toiletries, you name it.

“If it was a box for a person in refugee, we’d put in toiletries, chocolates, Christmas treats.

“If it was for an elderly who is living on their own, we’d put in a book, for example, to read. Everyone has different needs.”

She added there was a sort of security reason to do so as well because they had to be 100 percent sure people didn’t put alcohol or, for example, knife in the boxes.

Ms Sexton told JUS News that they have been working very hard to send all the boxes to the charities they were connected to before Christmas time.