It’s that time of the year again where we don our Santa hats, blast out the Christmas tunes and get busy buying and wrapping lots of gifts for our friends and family. But what about the people that won’t be getting any gifts this year? Who will give the children that are living in poverty or fleeing war-torn countries their gifts? Christmas for most of us here is a peaceful time that we share with our loved ones exchanging gifts and celebrating. It’s times like these that we should take the time to help those many people across the world that are not as lucky as we are and try to give something back.
At Fifteen, we always try to do our bit for charity and for the past three years we have been working with Larkfields Infant School in Nuthall, Nottinghamshire to help them collect shoeboxes filled with toys and gifts that are donated as Christmas gifts in the scheme ‘Operation Christmas Child’ ran by the Samaritan’s Purse. The charity collect shoeboxes from across the world and deliver them to children living in desperate situations in the hope of bringing them a little joy on Christmas day. They say, “a small shoebox can have a big impact. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out of it is eternal” and we really do agree!
This year we have decided to donate 30 boxes to the school and every member of the Fifteen team has been involved in shopping for gifts, packing and wrapping the boxes and delivering them into the school. The boxes range from gifts for 2 – 14 year old boys and girls and are filled with lots of different gifts from toys and games to clothes and soap. We took a team shopping trip to the local toy shop and loaded up our baskets and trolleys full of goodies for the children. We had a giggle with the cashier in the shop that we had bought out the entire store and she got chatting with us about what a lovely idea it is and how she often gets involved with her local school to give a box too.
Our shoeboxes were very kindly donated to us by the team at the Pavers Shoes store in the Armstrongs Mill shopping centre in Ilkeston (thank you very much ladies) and delivered into the Fifteen office for wrapping. Our entire team got involved with the packing and wrapping of the gifts and boxes. Everyone excitedly shut down their computers and took up a spot in the boardroom, listening to Christmas songs whilst we filled it with Christmas cheer and lots and lots of wrapping paper and sticky tape!
There were dolls, toy cars, balls, gloves, hats, toothbrushes, hair bands, colouring books, pens, crayons and lots more. We had sweet treats going into the boxes too and we are very proud to tell you that not one of them were consumed by a Fifteen team member, or so we were told…
A few days later, we took a trip to Larkfields Infant School to deliver the 30 packed, wrapped and labeled boxes. Greeting by Jane Maltby, School Administrator, we were welcomed into the school with much excitement. Jane had said that the school had managed to collect 70 boxes from the pupils and our extra 30 would make a grand total of 100 boxes for the charity – that’s the most boxes the school has ever donated! The school had organised for a photographer from the local press to come into the school and get a photo of the shoeboxes and a few of the pupils. Fifteen’s Managing Director, Ollie Piddubriwnyj has a daughter that attends the school and so Amelia, aged 5, was also included in the photo along with a couple of members of the Fifteen team – including Josh who is an ex-pupil of the school.
“It’s really important to us as a business to share our success with the local community and give something back. It means a lot to me that everyone at Fifteen gets involved in helping out and shares the experience of packing the boxes too. The entire team looks forward to doing this each year and every time we see the pictures of the children receiving the gifts we remember how brilliant it feels to make them smile. It’s extra special to do something for the school that my daughter attends too; I want her to be proud of her Dad’s business and friends.”
Ollie Piddubriwnyj, Managing Director.