Originally started by North West Rotary clubs in 1994, the Rotary Shoebox Scheme was then intended to provide children of Iasi, in north-east Romania with Christmas gifts. Since then, the scheme has become a national project supported not only by Rotary clubs but also by individuals, schools, companies, churches, Inner Wheel, Rotaract & Interact etc. Indeed we are delighted to welcome anyone who would like to be involved.
Each year we now send around 50,000 Shoeboxes or gifts. SEE BOX DISTRIBUTION
Gifts are now sent out throughout the year to many different countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Toys are especially useful all year round for Birthday presents in the Orphanages, Homes and Hospitals. All age groups, including teenagers, have welcomed the boxes. We have delivered to children and teenagers in orphanages, hospitals and also to street kids. To Adults in TB and AIDS hospitals. To disadvantaged families and to women’s refuges. To older folk in hostels with no supporting families.
In addition to Romania, Shoebox gifts have been delivered to Belarus, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Albania, Croatia and Kosovo.
The boxes now travel either overland by lorry, or by sea container. We use the services of International Aid Trust (IAT), a Christian Charity who have a long association with Rotary in the north-west of England and who help with both Transportation and Warehouse storage. Distribution is always through known contacts.
We are officially tied in with Hope & Homes and regularly supply their foster homes with boxes of gifts.
Spurgeons have been involved with the scheme since its inception and we deliver to their projects in Western Romania on a regular basis.
The Rotary Club of Iasi 2000 are also regular distributors for us to Orphanages and Children’s Hospitals in the area.
IAT also have some children’s homes and camps in Belarus and Ukraine where we deliver.
The strengths of the Rotary Shoebox Scheme over other similar schemes are:
• It operates all year round.
• The boxes are distributed to known contacts
• We have no religious or political affiliations
• We can guarantee that every Shoebox goes to a deserving child or family.
What is Rotary?
We are community champions who stand up for our communities both locally and overseas. We support those who need help, we strive to improve lives and we bring about positive change in our neighbourhoods. Every event, initiative or project that we run – whether it is local, national, international or online – is rooted in the notion of community.
This is because we believe that society works better when communities work together. More Information>>