As Christmas was approaching we decided we wanted to do something a little extra to help the children in the refugee camps around Thessaloniki, Northern Greece. We wanted to send shoeboxes to as many children as possible, each one containing some essentials and a gift. There are estimated 27,000 children in the camps we work with through our volunteer Maria. 

We sent 267 shoe boxes to Thessaloniki! We were touched by everyone’s generosity. Boxes were packed with such thought and care, with colourful wrappings, and many with personal messages of good wishes. Each box contained a toy, arts & craft materials, toiletry items, sweets and warm clothes. 

Due to customs, all boxes had to be inspected before being sent. We labelled them all according to age-group and, where appropriate, boy or girl, and sent them via the Cypriot freight company Mondial, who have been incredible in assisting us.

“Through our volunteers, who are very well placed to distribute. All shoe boxes were greatly received by the children”

Hettie Colquehoun


A huge thanks to the children and parents of Springfield School, Clapton Girls School and Holmleigh School who sourced and packed most of the shoe boxes.

More thanks to Freya, Susan and Clare at New Unity Church, and Billo and Casino, in Dalston, who supplied us with empty shoe boxes.

Thanks to the stallholder in Ridley Road who, unsolicited, donated a sackful of warm hats.

Thanks to Mondial, who helped us ship the shoeboxes to Greece.