Tauranga Shoebox Christmas

About Tauranga Shoebox Christmas

We are a team of volunteers passionate about spreading Christmas cheer throughout Tauranga, one shoebox at a time. Whilst a shoebox doesn’t seem like much for some people, for many children Christmas with gifts doesn’t happen for them. A shoebox of brand new gifts, to call their own can make a memorable Christmas for many.

Bee is the main face of this operation – she does the Facebook page updates, administration and liaises with the schools/organisations. There are also a few behind the scenes people – one who manages our website and fixes Bee’s errors; two delivery elves who sort, store and deliver all our shoeboxes; and Bee’s work colleagues at Maven Bay of Plenty who get roped into helping with drop offs and sorting of shoeboxes.

"We delivered more than 1800 shoeboxes to local children in 2018! Well done to our amazing donators!"

How It Works

We match up lists of children provided by local schools and organisations to generous donators who provide a shoebox of new gifts. The donators return the shoeboxes to us full and wrapped and we then deliver these to the schools or organisation to give out to the children.

As a minimum, donators will always be given the age and gender of a child. Some schools / organisations will also provide further details (i.e – if the child has special needs, clothing size, interests etc) and we pass these along through the allocation process.

Time Line

Time Line

  • 31st August - lists of children from schools and organisations due in.
  • 7th September - all children will be allocated by this date.
  • 29th October - drop off locations opened.
  • 16th November - cut off date for all shoeboxes to be dropped off to a drop off location (further details around these locations will be provided closer to the date).
  • 19th November onwards - shoeboxes delivered to participating schools and organisations.
  • 7th December - Tauranga Shoebox Christmas completed for another year.

    The Rules

    The Rules

    1. The price range of shoebox is between $20-$50
    2. No food
    3. No cash, lotto tickets or gift vouchers
    4. Ensure your shoebox, once full is wrapped and has your reference label (emailed with your allocation) printed and fixed to the bottom of the shoebox. 
    5. Drop off to one of our drop locations

    How To Fill A Shoebox

    How To Fill A Shoebox

    An idea that has been popular in previous year's is to follow the theme read, wear, need, want.


    • Books
    • Posters
    • Comics
    • Magazines


    • Sunblock
    • Toothbrush / Toothpaste
    • Hair ties / brush
    • Lunch box / drink bottle


    • Sun hat
    • Togs / rash shirt
    • Socks
    • Underwear
    • T-shirts
    • Dress-up costumes


    • Art and craft supplies
    • LEGO
    • Cars, diggers, trucks, trains
    • Playdoh
    • Games
    • Puzzles
    Note: we appreciate that not all children have details such as clothing size provided.

    Drop Off Locations

    Drop Off Locations

    House of Travel Papamoa

    • Cnr Domain Road and Topaz Drive
    • Opening Hours
    • Weekdays 8.30am - 5.00pm
    • Wednesday 9.00am - 5.00pm
    • Saturday 9.00am - 1.00pm

    House of Travel The Crossing

    • 2 Taurikura Drive
    • Opening Hours
    • Weekdays 9.00am - 5.00pm
    • Saturday 9.00am - 3.00pm
    • Sunday 10.00am - 2.00pm

    House of Travel Mount Maunganui

    • The Cruise Deck
    • 169 Maunganui Road
    • Opening Hours
    • Weekdays 9.00am - 5.00pm
    • Saturday 10.00am - 3.00pm

    Maven Bay of Plenty

    • Ground Floor
    • 116 Cameron Road
    • Opening Hours
    • Weekdays 8.30am - 4.30pm
    Drop off dates for 2019 are 29th Oct - 16th Nov
    Maven - Surveying, land development, planning. Serving the Bay of Plenty region
    Land Development

    "Maven, committed to helping Tauranga Shoebox Christmas make kids smile!"

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    We are a group of volunteers who are passionate about spreading Christmas love. Bee is the main face of this operation – she does the facebook page updates, administration and liaises with the schools/organisations. There are also a few behind the scenes people – one who manages our website and fixes Bee’s errors; two delivery elves who also sort and store all our shoeboxes in the lead up to delivery days; and Bee’s work colleagues at Maven Bay of Plenty who get roped into helping with drop offs and sorting of shoeboxes.

    We started this community project in 2017 and it has grown from strength to strength. Our goal each year is to grow the number of schools and community organisations that we support, to eventually support every school within Tauranga city.

    No. We are entirely not-for-profit and all of this work is done out of love. Occasionally, we may stumble across the odd coffee or some chocolates, but otherwise that’s about it!

    A list is compiled by each school / organisation. The general rule is that the child must be from a home that is struggling. The term ‘struggling’ is quite subjective, however schools are given a mini criteria of sorts (but not limited to):

    • Child has faced poverty – no lunch frequently, missing out on school activities due to parents not being able to afford, lack of school uniform, missing school due to financial difficulty
    • Child may have been subject to bullying
    • Child may have come from womens refuge
    • Child have suffered severe illness or had a family member suffer severe illness
    • Child may be terminally ill
    • Child may be in care, womens refuge, homeless

    It is purely to protect the privacy of the child. The schools provide us with a list of children that have had their names swapped out with reference numbers. If the school / organisation provides further notes (i.e. clothing size, interests, favourite colour etc) then we pass these details on to the donator.

    This is a mechanism in place to protect the privacy of children. The school / organisation names have been referenced in the child allocation code's. These will change each year to ensure privacy is maintained.

    We specifically request no food as we don’t know if your allocated child has food allergies or lives with someone with severe food allergies. This is ensure the safety of the children and their families.

    Follow us on Facebook where the majority of our updates will be posted. Ensure you hit the ‘like’ button and also are following us so that our updates show up in your news feed.

    You can find this year's drop off locations listed in the 'Drop off Locations' section above.

    Unfortunately we cannot come and collect your shoebox. If we start collecting a few here and there we end up driving all over Tauranga picking up everyone’s shoeboxes. You can either post / courier it to Maven Bay of Plenty or try putting a post up on the shoebox Christmas page to see if anyone else might be going past your way and able to do a good deed on your behalf.

    You can get a shoebox from any shoe shop. Many shops were holding them for us last year so that people could go in and take whichever shoebox they liked the look of. Most shoe stores around town are aware of Tauranga Shoebox Christmas so have no issue with people coming into their stores asking for an empty shoebox.

    We ask that your shoebox has a value between $20-$50. The reason for this is to prevent disappointment if more than one donator is contributing to one family. If one shoebox has something (i.e – a cellphone, iPod or gift vouchers) and another child from the same family gets a shoebox with a lesser value gift inside, it can be disappointing and difficult for parents to explain.

    Yes. The reason for this rule is that it makes stacking the shoeboxes easier when storing them and when transporting them for delivery, as well as giving a general consistency in size.

    Unfortunately no. We are not given specifics of caregivers / parents however we do get advised (where known) if there are siblings in the same household. If there are other siblings that are at a different school we will try and get the age and gender of those sibling/s to ensure all the children in that household are covered.

    No. We cannot sift through the list and allocate people their individual preferences. This year we have streamlined the process so a lot of it is automated in order to save us time behind the scenes. Hundreds of hours went into manually allocating children with donators and if we want to keep expanding and include more schools in this venture, then we need to automate our processes as much as possible.

    Please get in touch with us as soon as you can. That will give us plenty of time to re-allocate to another family willing to donate. Absolutely no problem at all.

    In the near future no. We have plenty of children struggling within Tauranga itself and there are many more schools that aren’t yet on the shoebox Christmas list. If we continue to get support and can grow as the years progress then we will definitely look at expanding beyond Tauranga. For the next few years the main focus is on the schools in our own backyards.

    Spread the word! Share our Facebook page, tag your friends in our posts, share the website link, hustle around your colleagues, sports teams etc. If we do need another person on board we will call out for more people to join our team.

    Just flick us an email or a private message on FB and we will add another child to your allocation.

    Once the shoeboxes are delivered to the participating schools / organisations it is up to them to decide when / how the shoeboxes are distributed. Some give them out to the children on the last day of term, others hold a ‘shoebox christmas’ gathering for those children on the list so they can open them altogether. Others simply hand them out to the children before the end of Term 4 to take home and it is up to them if it goes under the tree until 25th December.

    Yes. We ask for this as many of the children receiving shoeboxes do not get anything new throughout the year. It is a way to make them feel good knowing that everything in their box was purchased specifically for them.

    No. Shoebox Christmas is about personalised gifts for children in need. It's about the joy of unwrapping a gift, knowing someone has chosen it just for them.

    Once you register, a message will flash on the screen above the registration form confirming your submission was sent. You will then be sent an email confirming your successful registration.

    Once you have been allocated a child, another email will be sent with your shoebox reference code, age and gender of your allocated child. You will also receive a printable label with each of your allocated children's reference codes, which is to be fixed to your wrapped shoebox.
    Please check your SPAM folder if no emails are received.

    "We are so thankful for the amazing support that we have received for this beautiful community project!"

    Register To Be A Donator

    Sorry, donator registrations have closed for 2020, as we have reached our target of 2500 donated gifts. We are extremely thankful for all of the amazing support that we have received this year and are looking forward to another breakout year of giving next year.

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    "Proud supporters of Tauranga Shoebox Christmas! Give them a call to chat about your next web or graphic design job."

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