Shoebox Express

I don’t remember when I started sending Christmas shoeboxes but I do remember why – guilt. I have never known a Christmas without Jesus, family, love and presents to unwrap, but many children around the world know none of these treasures and that made me feel bad. We may not be directly responsible for the world’s troubles, but Jesus calls us to do whatever we can to alleviate them.

When I asked around, to understand why there was not universal support for Operation Christmas Child, a few reasons kept appearing: a reluctance to participate because the scheme was too complicated, took too much time or cost too much (£15 to £20 per box was frequently mentioned).
Thus was “Shoebox Express” invented, our name for the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child scheme in the Crosby Methodist Circuit.

Shoebox Express aims to eliminate as many barriers to participation as possible. We shop all through the year, both retail and wholesale, to purchase items when they are at their cheapest rather than in the weeks leading up to Christmas when they are most expensive. We buy only items that are suitable and permitted by the various national schemes. We source and cover suitable shoeboxes with Christmas gift wrap year-round. We then bring everything together in one place to deliver a one-stop- shop.

On 14 th October, between 10am and 4pm, you are invited to see the end result of our year-long activities:

Shoebox Express’s annual sale event to which ALL are welcome. It is held in the church hall at Formby Methodist Church on Elbow Lane. Here you can choose from a wide range of ready-covered shoeboxes (which are all free of charge), fill them with a full selection of suitable gifts from across all categories (including stationery, toiletries, sweets, toys & games) at cost price. Our prices range from 5p and up, with no item costing more than £1.

For those who can’t attend the sale, or who struggle to know what to pack for a child, we also offer ready-filled shoeboxes for each age/gender category and these are £4.50 each. You can take your completed boxes away with you if you wish to hand them in through other churches or schools collections; you can leave them with us, or you would be welcome to attend our Shoebox Service (Sunday 5 th November from 10:30am at Formby Methodist Church in Elbow Lane) when the shoeboxes will be blessed.

Never underestimate the power of a Christmas shoebox. We are aware of two individuals (now
living in the UK with families of their own) for whom the receipt of a Christmas shoebox as a child was “the single most significant moment” of their lives.

Jesus brings us some great news. We can’t take anything with us when we go, but we are able to store up treasures in heaven which we can never, ever lose. Every time we send a Christmas
shoebox, that’s exactly what we are doing.

For more details, please contact shoebox_express@yahoo.co.uk