Unsuitable or Inappropriate Shoebox Items | Samaritans Purse Skip to main content
processing shoeboxes

Unsuitable or Inappropriate Items

Every year, at processing centres around the UK, teams of trained seasonal volunteers check the contents of each shoebox before it is sent to a child in need. Their aim is to keep each shoebox exactly as it was packed, by you, our generous supporters, while checking each item against a number of important criteria, such as:

  • To make sure we comply with customs requirements of the countries we are sending to.
  • To make sure we respect the cultural and religious contexts of the communities we are sending to.
  • And to ensure that the items packed are in a clean and safe condition for the child who will receive them.
  • Occasionally, we might need to remove an item that doesn’t match one of these criteria. 
  • Inappropriate items include Toothpaste, sweets, lotions and liquids; used or damaged items; war-related items; seeds, gum, chocolate or food items; religious or political literature; medicines, aerosol cans, sharp or fragile items.

Where possible, any items that need to be removed are donated to other charities.


Charities we’ve donated to:

Over the years we have developed relationships with many UK-based charities and donated towards their work. Examples include:

If you are aware of any charities which you feel may benefit from this do please let us know at occ@samaritans-purse.org.uk.