After 11 years of transporting Christmas shoeboxes and warm clothing by articulated lorry from the UK to Romania, we are excited to say that our 2024 Christmas Appeal will be carried out differently.
Why is the Christmas Appeal Changing?
We’ve based our decision on a number of factors, not least our experiences in 2023. We are immensely grateful to the two volunteers who clocked in over 400 hours from September to December, sacrificing their evenings and weekends to sort through mountains of shoeboxes in our storage unit. Each box had to be scrutinised, recorded, weighed and meticulously logged. Sadly, some of the donations contained dirty, damaged and inappropriate items which significantly slowed down the process. And as if that wasn’t enough, a whopping 40 pages of EU paperwork had to be tackled. We’re sure you’ll agree it’s a lot to ask of just two volunteers. Furthermore, the spiralling costs associated with the traditional lorry campaign exceeded £10,000 this year as Romanian taxes and new legislation came into effect, requiring all clothing, soft toys and bedding to have a Disinfection Certificate.
Why is the Christmas Appeal Important?
Our intention is that the Christmas Appeal will remain a vital part of our work in rural Romania going forward. Although we are fundamentally an animal charity, this initiative enables us to strengthen our relationships with local communities which in turn means we can educate more animal owners about basic care; we can conduct more well-attended neuter campaigns; we can help more strays and encourage compassion towards them, and we can provide more necessary veterinary support. All of which feeds into our central mission: to alleviate animal suffering.
The 2024 Appeal
During our 2023 campaign, it was heartbreaking to see that many families had no food other than old vegetables and dry bread to celebrate with on Christmas Day. Thanks to two generous donors who gave specifically for food, we were able to purchase family food bags for over 500 families. The recipients were deeply grateful, and it really shocked us to see how desperate the need was. That is why for our 2024 appeal, we will be requesting donations of £10 for a child’s Christmas gift or £5 towards a family food bag which we will purchase in Romania. We will issue certificates and, as always, take photos during the distribution so our donors can see the impact of their generous gifts. We do understand that for some supporters, this change may take away the joy of donating a physical gift. However, without the administrative costs associated with the traditional lorry campaign, we will be able to ensure every penny goes directly to the communities that need it most.
We look forward to continuing to bring happiness to hundreds of children and families in 2024, and we hugely appreciate your ongoing support.