Shoe Boxes of Love on their way

   Published: Thursday, 27 January 2011

     With support from the Rotary Club of Campbelltown, a small group conducted a massive campaign to send "shoeboxes of love" to people affected by the recent flooding in Queensland.

   To find out more and see photos,
   visit their Facebook Page:

The following are some extracts from their posts:

Thu 27/1/11 
"Our first 40ft container is being loaded onto a train as we speak.... That's 67.6 cubic metres or 10 tonne of South Australian love heading for those devastated by the floods... Our count so far is 6,950 shoe boxes, with an expected 2,000 still to be counted and packed over the next few days. SA your support has been amazing ♥ "

Wed 26/1/11 
'Shoe Boxes of Love' drive for flood victims would like to thank all of the volunteers who kindly donated their Australia Day to assisting us with the sorting and packing boxes. We have over 7,000 boxes of love packed and in 60ft of shipping containers, and more to be counted with another 40ft container on the way. Excellent work guys!

And here is a little of "their story" (in response to the question "Why are you doing this?")

As if you need to ask!

We were all mortified watching the images starting to come out of SE QLD, only a few short days ago, as places like Rockhampton seemed to just be washed away.

And then it got even worse.

None of us have direct family in the area, but a number of our friends do. And we watched the heartache as some of them were waiting by the phone, hoping to get through - but realising those affected had more urgent things to do than call everyone while they're trying to evacuate!

We saw the push to donate money - which we STRONGLY support (please go here: and donate what you can!).

But we were hearing stories out of the exacuation camps about what they were being supplied with - and what they weren't. They have what they need, but not necessarily what they want. And yes, there are more important things right now - the moving everyone to safe areas, controlling flood waters (where possible!), helping people who get trapped - but we can't help with that from Adelaide. It's already being taken care of, to the best of our countries' ability.

Then Kimberley decided she wanted to do more.

She wanted to get those little luxury items, that would just make life a little more bearable, and receiving them may just give someone a small smile, and a small gesture that other people in the country are behind them.

So, she created a facebook event (as you do these days), and emailed her friends. She had high hopes of getting maybe one or two hundred boxes, and getting them delivered up there - not that she knew how yet. But she has contacts, she was sure there would be a way; even if she had to drive them up there in a van herself.

Maria was one of the people that Kim contacted. Maria wanted to do more than just make a box, and offered to help out. Maria thought this could become bigger, and started forwarding it on to everyone she knew, too.

Then Kimberley's friend, Damian, caught wind. He has contacts with the Rotary club (, and asked if they would like to be involved - and that's exactly what we needed. All of a sudden we had support from a recognised, grass-roots volunteer group (just like ourselves). It gave us authority, and extra experience, and a ready-made distribution network in the affected areas - one that means we won't be interferring with the authorities, or taking valuable time from others. 

Of course, in the modern age, it just started growing at an ever increasing rate. In 24 hours it went from nothing to 1000 people, far exceeding anyone's hopes. Another 24 hours, and it was 8,000.

Channel 7, 9 and 10 have all run stories on us in the evening news, and Mix 102.3 have been heavily promoting us, and linking to us from their website. This media attention is great - but the focus is on what needs to be done, and who it's for. We don't want people to just hit "like" on facebook - contrary to popular belief, that never achieves anything!

We would like people to help out, by going down to the shops and buying some of the items that would be appreciated in the flood-ravaged areas of QLD (not just what you have lying around at home, if it's not what they need!), find an empty shoebox, then drop it in to us.

Then, pass it onto your friends. Organise with your collegues at work; with your community group; to all chip in - and turn up on our doorstep with 100 boxes, or 500 boxes!!

Make sure the items are useful, and will be appreciated. It's only a small thing - it can't push back the flood waters - but it might make someone smile.

        the Adelaide Shoebox team :)