Author Archives: webmaster (NW)

Thank you!

The shoe box sort is in itself a major undertaking. It takes around 1,000 working hours just to sort 7,500 shoe boxes plus time for packing, receiving, collecting, driving and a variety of other tasks; meaning that we need about 30 volunteers per shift. On average each volunteer does 5 shifts; in reality some can only manage one, a few do many more and a tiny handful work the whole appeal.

My thanks go out to all those who have helped this year; special mention goes to our sister congregations in Newington and the South Side, including the group from Mayfield Salisbury church, led by Anne Sturrock, who gave us well over 200 perfectly wrapped shoeboxes of the right size; more special mention goes to the corporate teams from Royal Bank of Scotland, Registers of Scotland, Lexis Nexis and (ex) DWP Scotland.  RBS contributed more than 60 individuals across 4 days; RoS, celebrating their 400th Anniversary, gave us 20; Lexis Nexis law publishers have supported us for many years, albeit with a smaller team this year and Department of Work & Pensions members now come in their own time as DWP have stopped giving them corporate community time for us.  Our scout troop (85th Braids) gave up their evening meeting to to carry and re-stock and the Soroptimists sorted a massive amount of “fillers” to make sense of the boxes of bulk items. There were as many again individuals who came and went as their time allowed, some for a shift every day, some for most whole days.

Thanks also to the heavy duty crew of Susan & Mark loading the cartons, Chris, Mac, Gerald & Martin in the van, and Lorne all did similar heavy work loading & unloading the vans and handling the boxes, bags and cartons at the front door. Put all these people together and we have a very effective operation producing, this year, an average of 1,250 shoeboxes per day; this peaked at over 1,500 but fell back as we ran out of shoeboxes on a couple of occasions. (Tuesday morning was really just finishing off Monday’s remainders; we also spent time wrapping empty boxes and using them to split the very large boxes which were left until the end.)

So, thank you all again for your hard work and dedication to help make someone, far away,  happy this Christmas.

The date for 2018 will be starting either 5th November or 12th November, subject to a discussion with Blythswood; check this website for updates during the year.

Norman Weibye
Sorting Centre co-ordinator
15th November 2017.


Finished sorting by 12.30pm today, provisional total: 7,286. I shall post more information this evening, but no more work now for the rest of the week.

from Norman, 14th November, 1pm.

Monday 13th

A slower morning, due once again to a shortage of shoeboxes, moved into a more typical afternoon. An excellent crew churned through the lunchtime delivery and we sorted 828 boxes for the day giving a total of 7,096 so far.

Tomorrow we shall finish the remaining boxes, probably less than 200, and then pack up and clear away the fillers and other stocks. It will be useful to have some volunteers in the morning to help with finishing off.

from Norman, 13th November.

Friday 10th

Thank you everyone for today and for this week; today’s total was 1,053 and for the week 6,248, a really excellent result!

I’ll put up another post on Sunday with some more information about this week’s performance and also an idea of what I might need by way of volunteers on Monday. For the moment let’s all have a restful weekend…

from Norman, 10th November

Thursday 9th

Another assortment of helpers from the community, another team from RBS, another successful sorting day with 1,214 shoeboxes completed.

What was different to other days was a visit from the Moderator to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Dr. Derek Browning, who took a particular interest in the work of the sorting centre at Craigmillar Park and our contribution to the annual Blythswood Care ShoeBox Appeal. The Moderator toured the sorting hall and packing station and chatted with the volunteers, where he was presented with his own specially packed shoebox.

We have a big delivery coming in tomorrow so I’m keen to have more helpers – check the main shoebox menu and recent posts for details.

Wednesday 8th

Although we had another excellent day today we missed two possible targets by the slimmest of margins: 1,293 shoeboxes sorted, just 7 short of 1300; and only 24 boxes short of 4,000 in the first 3 days.  Tonight we cleared up much of the mess and re-stocked the hall with shoeboxes, most of the work being done by our Scout troop, 85th Braid:






The sorters today were another 50/50 combination from Craigmillar Park and the local area, and a new team from Royal Bank of Scotland.






from Norman, 8th November.


Tuesday 7th

Thank you to all today’s volunteers – we had an all time record for a single days sorting at 1,528! And the teams stopped 20 minutes early to tidy up and prepare for tomorrow.

This is today’s crew from Royal Bank of Scotland , but we had as many again from Craigmillar Park Church and elsewhere around the community.

Thanks for a tremendous effort.

from Norman, 7th November.

Ready for the off!

The Hall is now all set up for the start of our ShoeBox sorting week.  Thanks to today’s crew, of all ages, who moved around 1500 shoeboxes and set up all the tables so that we’re ready to start tomorrow morning.  

This picture does not include the some of the others youngsters who helped to stack the boxes under the tables; they worked really well!

We look forward to seeing the first volunteers tomorrow…

from Norman, 5th November.

Sorting Days: UPDATE

Thanks everyone, I’ve had an excellent response for the first week of sorting: Monday through Thursday are really busy, so I’m not adding any more volunteers to these.  Friday is a bit on the weak side so my request for now is to add a few helpers to Friday.

I’ll take a view on the second week a bit later…

from Norman, 2nd November.