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.)
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.
Sorting Centre co-ordinator
15th November 2017.