Kindness in a Box. CCGG #23

Blogmas on the CancerCarerChats blog is a daily charitable Christmas gift guide with a twist - each post will feature an idea for a charitable act.  Christmas is a time for giving whether it be for someone you know or for a stranger.  Take the time at this time of the year to do a good deed, just one small act can help someone who is less fortunate than you are.  
As a reminder, my mum was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer in March 2017 when I started this blog to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of ovarian cancer and my life as a carer.  I care for my mum, trying to ease some of the load on her and walk by her side on this journey.  It’s just as hard to watch someone you love go through pain, than to experience it yourself.

For day #23 of  the Cancer Carer Chats charitable gift guide, my tip is to keep a shoebox in a corner of the kitchen.  What!  I hear you say.  Has Cancer Carer Chats gone crazy with the cleaning, cooking and caring for her mother???  Aswell as talking about herself in the third-person!  No, I've not gone crazy and I think this is a terrific idea because for me, I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen and that's especially where I unpack the groceries so it would be most sensible to keep a shoebox in the corner of the room and add any extra toiletries and groceries for those in need.  Give yourself a boost to start off with and raid your cupboards for dry goods such as biscuits and tea bags for which you have too much of or that odd shampoo or bar of soap.  

To give your box that extra personal feel you can think about the demographic for which you would like or for which you think your products would be most suitable for.  Is it for a woman and her family who are escaping from domestic abuse, in a homeless shelter, or who are refugees?  Do you wish to help a child and would therefore be packing toys and products aimed specifically at children.  Whatever the demographic, know that you are helping someone who has nothing by donating products that you have in excess.

If you have a shoebox, but you're a little stuck on what to fill it with, well first of all, I have to say that the intent is there, which is half the battle.

For adults - women or men:
  • Hygiene items: toothbrushes, toothpaste, brushes, combs, deodorant, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, face soap, bath loofah, wash cloths', floss, or body wash.  
  • Toys: balls, yoyos, dolls, stuffed animals, play-doh, jump ropes, toy cars, or stuffed animals.
  • School items: pencils, crayons, washable markers, washable paint, colored pencils, glue stick, stationary, or child safe scissors.
  • Books: reading books, sticker books, or coloring books. 
  • Other items a child would enjoy include stickers, crazy straws, jewelry, sunglasses, socks, hair clips, or headbands.
For children:
  • 0-3 years:  dolls, teddy bears, cot mobiles, baby clothes, bath toys, CDs of suitable music and nursery rhymes, puzzles
  • 3-5: dolls and action figures, cars, lorries, DVDs and CDs (music and nursery rhymes), colouring sets, pencils, crayons, books, puzzles
  • 5-9: educational games & toys, stationery (colouring sets, pencils, crayons, school sets), CDs & family friendly DVDs, books, puzzles, wordsearch, crosswords
  • 9-12: games and toys, stationery, DVDs, books, t-shirts, hair accessories, gloves, scarves, hats
  • 13-16: books, make-up and toiletries (please try to ensure non-allergic ingredients if possible), gloves, scarves, hats, t-shirts, hair accessories and gift vouchers
Most importantly, make sure that the products - especially toiletries are unused.

And there's no reason why you can't decorate the box?  It is a gift after all and wouldn't we wrap a gift and make it presentable if it were for a friend, family member, colleague or loved one?  I have to admit, this is the bit that I'm most excited about!

Once you have a shoebox bursting with gifts and decorated with joy then it's time to make sure it goes to a good home.  These can be donated locally by Google'ing local shelters, hospitals, refuges, orphanages or retirement homes and dropping them off.  Alternatively, here are a few other organisation, both big and small with shoebox projects currently underway and accepting donations.

Salvation Army.  The Salvation Army look to provide assistance to the vulnerable and those who require assistance through a variety of methods.
Project Shoebox   Project Shoebox assist humanity by recognising that those who require assistance are still people and not victims or problems that need to be solved by offering a helping hand.
Samaritans'.  If you'd like to 'Go Global' then the best way would be to fill a shoebox and present it to The Samaritans' where since 1990, more than 146 million children in over 150 countries have experienced kindness through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child.

Soon after you start filling, I think you will soon find that the shoebox is just not big enough, that you have more products than you can fit in and that you're filling it with material things that you really don't miss too much.  But more importantly, how fun it is and how simple to spread kindness through a box filled with love.  What's great is that this doesn't just have to be a Christmas present but  gift that will be appreciated all year round.  So have fun!

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
T – Toilet habit changes
E – Energy levels dropping
A – Abdominal pain/ swelling
L – Loss of appetite



Popular Posts