Our Amazing Shoe Box Appeal!

Our Amazing Shoe Box Appeal!

This year, for the very first time at St. Columba’s, as part of their Sacramental Preparation Journey in Faith, Year 4 decided to support ‘Operation Christmas Child’ – the Shoe Box Appeal.

A shoe box is Christmas wrapped, filled with toiletries, toys and school items before being sent to a child in natural disaster zones and war torn areas of the world. For many children, this will be the only gift they will receive this Christmas.

Year 4 set their sights high and made a target! They wanted to wrap and fill 100 shoe boxes by Friday 3rd November! They started by delivering a special assembly to the whole school to raise awareness of the chairty and ask our school community for help. They explained how to pack a shoe box with the right items to help children who aren’t as lucky as we are.


We recognised that asking parents to fill the shoe boxes at home can be expensive and time consuming. Y4 wanted the whole community to play a small part each and together, if we worked as a team, we knew we would make a bigger impact. The Y4 children ran a shop every morning break and on occasions after school for two weeks. Children and parents were able to buy items from as little as 5p, up to £1 in order to fill the shoe boxes. Items for sale included rubbers, pencils, notebooks, toothbrushes, toothpaste etc. Y4 wish to thank the Friends of St. Columba’s for giving them the initial money to buy these items in bulk to sell.

Parents and family members were incredibly generous. We had lots of items donated to school which could be included in our shoe boxes and many parents also donated fully wrapped boxes which were ready to send! Y4 said a big thank you to Mrs Spence and her work colleagues who helped us to get ever closer to our target!

Y4 were so lucky that members of our community donated empty shoe boxes for them to fill. One of our Dads works in a shoe shop and was able to give us lots of empty boxes! We then needed an army of willing volunteers to wrap the shoe boxes before we could fill them. That is where parents and grandparents came into their own! Thank you so much to everyone who took boxes home to wrap and those parents who wrapped boxes in the Activity Centre whilst the children enjoyed their termly disco!

We made a target board in the hall and updated children and parents regularly via assemblies and the Iona Star as to how far away we were from our goal!

After a month’s worth of hard work, we are proud to announce that as a community, we wrapped and filled …. 124 shoe boxes! What an amazing achievement! 

We are so proud to have surpassed our original target! THANK YOU SO MUCH to each and every one of you!

In a final bid to raise much needed funds for Operation Christmas Child, the Y4 children sold refreshements and cakes after their class assembly on Friday 10th November. Parents were treated to top class service as the children served the cakes they had decorated and iced in class. Families played board games together and raised another £50 for the Shoe Box Appeal! Wonderful work!

The children were able to deliver the boxes to ‘Operation Christmas Child’ via Shoezone in Wallsend. Members of Y4 travelled to the store and delivered all of the boxes! The staff were thrilled.

What a tremendous amount of work you have put in Y4! Without knowing it, the children completed work on PSHE, Maths, English and Geography objectives! A huge thank you must go to Y4, Mrs Watson, Mrs Laidlaw, parents, grandparents and members of our community in Wallsend. Without you all, this fabulous charity would not have had such fantastic support. I wish we could see the faces of the children as they open their boxes from our school, what a surprise they will get!