Frequently Asked Questions
This is a list of frequently asked questions and answers. I hope will be of help to you.
1. Which countries do the boxes go to?
Normally Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine from this area
2. Do we put religious information in the boxes?
No religious information is put in to the boxes, hence we ask you to seal and wrap the boxes. This is a humanitarian appeal.
3. Who receives the boxes?
Children in need in schools, hospitals, orphanages, prisons, after-school centres, street children and needy families in their homes, etc.
4. Who decides where the boxes go?
The social services of each country decide on which area of the country the boxes will be distributed in.
5. Who decides on the box content?
After a meeting between the Mission who distribute the boxes and representatives of the different counties it was decided what was necessary to help the children in school and at home, but also bring them pleasure.
6. Who distributes the Gift Boxes?
A charitable organisation, the Mission Chrétienne pour les Pays de l'Est (MCE); their local staff distributes the boxes as instructed by the social services.
7. What size does the box need to be?
As a guide we normally use 6-bottle wine cartons or any strong box of a similar size that will take A4 paper. Computer paper boxes also work well.
8. Do all the items need to be in a box?
Yes, all are items necessary for school, hygiene and pleasure.
9. Does the box need to be wrapped?
Yes, it's a gift and wrapping is important. Boxes need to be sealed so are unable to be opened in transit.
10. The printed customs list, is it put on the outside of the box or bag?
On the outside. Scotch tape the customs list to the box or bag so it can be seen by the customs officials.
11. If we prefer to fill a school bag instead of a box is this possible and do, we still have to wrap the bag?
Even better, the children then have a bag for school. Please wrap cling film round the bag covering the catches and straps. This makes the boxes more secure in transit. Always attach the customs label to the outside.
12. Exercise books are general school writing books and need to have 50 pages, drawing paper?
Exercise books can be squared or lined. We use squared with 50 pages. Books are very expensive so need to last the child for a few terms. We add a few sheets of computer paper, useful for making paper planes, drawing, etc. Add some sheets as an optional extra.
13. What age are the children’s hats, caps, gloves and socks usually for?
The 6-13 year age group but the stretch fit any size gloves and socks work best, most hats stretch. It’s impossible to cover all the age range so we use the mid-age range.
14. Do we have to pay for the transport cost to Eastern Europe?
No, because I run this appeal in schools there are no transport costs. All costs are covered by donations to the mission.
15. When do the boxes need to be ready and dropped off?
No later than 16th November as the truck arrives on 18th November. I cannot accept anything after that date.
16. Where are there collection points?
I try to arrange for the schools taking part to accept your boxes. There will be drop off points indicated on the site nearer the time and you can email for more information.
17. When can I drop off my box?
The boxes need to be dropped off between 10th November and 18h November. The truck will be collecting the boxes on 20th November.
18. Are there any brochures that I can print out to take to school or work?
We have a flyer which will be on the website which you can download here. You can also find on the website information needed to make a box which can also be downloaded.
There is also a Face Book page “Gift Box Supporters Geneva Area” with information as well.
19. Are there any posters or flyers I can print and put on the walls at school, etc?
I don’t have any large posters. I can send you in separate emails some basic ones and photos you can print out to show conditions the children live in, etc. Please contact me.
The website is full of information regarding the boxes, with stories and photos of the distribution, the families and children who receive the boxes under Thank You, History or More in French and English.
20. Can I make donations?
Yes you can donate complete boxes, money or items from the customs list to help us make extra boxes. Please see the “Donations” page for more information.
21. The Aim?
This appeal is aimed at helping children learn about giving to others not as fortune as they are. The timing links well with the UN “Rights of the Child Day” on 20th November. A number of schools use the appeal to show that poverty is not so far away and help students to understand how others live.
Thank you so much for thinking about the appeal. A Gift Box from you would be a wonderful help in making another child happy. I hope the above information has been of help to you and I very much hope that you will take part.
22. How does Coronavirus affect the Gift Boxes?
The gift box Project is classed as Humanitarian aid, therefore the trucks are allowed across borders without problems and the boxes are distributed as normal by local staff.
This year your boxes are more important than ever as the children receiving the boxes are suffering much worse conditions than we could imagine, due to their living conditions and general lack of help.
"One more box is one more smiling face".
Any questions not covered here, please email me.