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Shoebox Gifts


Since last summer, when the situation in Calais intensified, Bristol has united to support the refugees living in the makeshift camp, The Jungle. From fundraisers to marches, people have joined forces to raise money and collect essentials to send, or take, to the French border. A couple of weeks ago, The Coexist Community Kitchen held a fundraising meal. Spread the Love, held on the 11th February, was a three course African style meal that brought Bristolians together to feast and enjoy each other’s company. The money raised was then used to send two or three volunteers to the Ashram kitchen in the Jungle for around four days.

In their recent article People to People, local magazine Copyright summed up the feeling in the city: ‘Bristols’ actions to help ease this shocking humanitarian crisis all stems from the same hope: to help people as effectively and profoundly as we can.’

At the end of March, Lucas is heading down to Calais and he is keen to take some supplies with him. He thinks it would be best to send a combination of what is urgently needed (warm clothes and essential hygiene products) and small gifts. Lucas decided the easiest way to collect donations would be to put together shoeboxes.

If you’d like to create a shoebox ready for Calais, please drop it round to the roastery before the 15th of March. We are open between 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. Below is a suggested list of what, and what not, to include in your box. It’s worth thinking about the age and gender of who you’d like to send your box to and target its contents more specifically towards them. Please then clearly label the box alongside a list of what you’ve included; here’s hoping that this will make life a little easier at customs!

The real value in these donations is reinforcing that person to person connection, even if it is across hundreds of miles and in the thoughtful contents of a shoebox. We’re sure that any donations will be well received and the personal touch of a photograph and a small message would be the perfect addition.


Please include:






Notebook / colouring book

Colouring pencils / paints


Toothbrush / toothpaste

Small toys

Photo of donor

Message from donor

Dried food (pasta / rice)


Please do NOT include:


Tinned food

Anything breakable / made of glass

Any items related to war

Reading books

Anything worn or broken



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