Manchester Homeless Christmas Shoebox Appeal: how to give back as a student

Lauren Eades is a BSc Biomedical Sciences student at Manchester. Here, she talks about one of the ways students can help the homeless this winter through the Manchester Homeless Christmas Shoebox Appeal…

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be rejoicing when Bonfire Night is over and it’s finally time to start thinking about the ‘c’ word: Christmas!

Christmas cheer comes early in Manchester, with the Christmas lights switch-on taking place on 4 November this year, the weekend before the famous German Christmas markets arrive.

Manchester Christmas market
Manchester Christmas market. Photo credit: Lauren Eades.

For many, the festive season means the scent of pine trees, twinkling lights, pulling crackers, festive food and a satisfied belly. However, for 4,428 homeless people in Manchester, Christmas will be spent without family or a permanent roof over their heads.

Every day on Oxford Road we see and hear stories of people struggling and left homeless. However, it can be hard as a student to try to make an impact on everyday homelessness.

Nevertheless, the Manchester Homeless Christmas Shoebox Appeal is already underway for 2017. The spirit of Christmas is all about giving to others, and the shoebox appeal, which is run by registered charity Manchester Street Angels, is a fantastic initiative that gives to those who need our help most at this time of year.

The general idea of the scheme, which is run throughout the country, is to fill a shoebox with items that can be used by those who need them most. You can find a list of suggested items here.

Lauren Shoebox Appeal
Me and a car boot full of shoeboxes for the Manchester Homeless Christmas Shoebox Appeal 2016. Photo credit: Lauren Eades.

Because some items such as toiletries can be gender-specific, the charity asks that the box is labelled for either a male, female, young adult or pet. All shoeboxes are collected and shared out on Christmas Day. If you can help in any way, no matter how big or small, it would be a massive help to those without a roof over their heads.

There are multiple drop-off points throughout Greater Manchester, with the most accessible drop-off point in town being Yorkshire Building Society (17 Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 1LS). You can see more drop-off points on the appeal’s Facebook page.

The drop-off deadline for this year is 26 November 2017, and the charity asks that shoeboxes are dropped off with a donation of £1 to help cover the distribution costs.

If you would like to support the appeal, but do not have time to make a shoebox, please feel free to donate via JustGiving and help make a difference.

So, please give back and help the appeal during this Christmas period by giving someone feeling
alone that feeling of comfort and home.

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