S.M.I.L.E launch their Christmas Shoebox Appeal.

S.M.I.L.E London and Essex is a local charity supporting low income and disadvantaged families across Essex and the capital. Each year S.M.I.L.E host a Christmas present appeal to ensure that no child is missed by Santa on Christmas morning. 

CEO Maria Quaife said:

“The past 18 months has been unlike any other and coronavirus has hit our communities hard. Many already struggling face new challenges including financial worries, insecure employment or job loss, health concerns, increasing incidents of domestic violence, as well as isolation from family and friends. This year, support from the community has gone a long way to make sure that those struggling do not feel forgotten. These presents will be distributed to 28 family hostels including two in Havering and four in Barking and Dagenham. Any large presents that don’t fit into shoeboxes are very welcome also. These presents are gifted to your clients that use our food pantry service in Romford”.

Tips to creating the best shoeboxes

Adult size shoebox (Between size 5 -11), Wrap in a festive paper with the lid wrapped separately. Choose an age and gender that means something to you. Imagine it being opened by a younger sibling, child, or grandchild. Shop for small presents, chocolates, treats, books,toiletries, crafts, make up, and teddies. We would ask for no 2nd hand items please. 

Once filled with fun presents stick a removal label to the inside of the lid for us to allocate correctly. 


Babies, 3-6, 7-12, 13-16, Parents 

Drop off locations:

SMILE London & Essex’s Office – Romford

Mecca Bingo – Romford & Dagenham 

Accord Sales & Lettings – Romford & Cranham 

Maa Eyecare – Cranham 

Havering Libraries :

– Upminster 

– Harold Hill

– Rainham

– South Hornchurch 

– Gidea Park 

We are trying to make it easier this Christmas for those who are unable to reach the shops. We have 2 options below for remote support 

1 – Our Amazon.co.uk wish list with some gift ideas for all ages https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/1R1KEGK9CP842… 

2 – Our PayPal link to donate funds to purchase items we are low on (Normally Baby and Teenage Boys) https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=NYEMV9FV9F8ZU

“SMILE is amazing in what they do and will be forever grateful, we are so happy and grateful for all the smiles they have put on my children’s faces, without SMILE this would not be possible from Christmas to Easter. They have an amazing team.

“I’m a single mum of three and was referred to SMILE through a professional team, SMILE has been very helpful in my time of need and hardship. The team are so professional and very polite, it was the most over whelming experience I have been through at my low point in my life where I have for the first time ever needed to get the help from a charity. It was the most difficult time of my life, but SMILE made me so comfortable with visiting them and getting help from them. I spoke to young man called David and still do when I need any help from the food bank or clothes, he is the sweetest and most helpful person I have ever come across, they have made a huge difference in my and my children’s life. I pray this charity stays active as many singles parents and families do need this service desperately in their everyday life, I can’t thank SMILE enough to help me and my family get through our difficult times, and I extremely rely on SMILE to help me through this year until I can get myself back on track”, Ms Jordan.

Please help this fantastic charity.

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