An exciting second year for the Youth Shoebox Project

Our very own Youth Shoebox Project kicks off for the second year to give a warm Blue Mountains welcome to children and young people seeking refuge and asylum in Australia.

This goodwill, youth to youth project stems from an idea of two Blue Mountains students, Alana Willingham and Annabelle Baddock. It ran with overwhelming success last year. The project, facilitated and supported by the Mountains Youth Service ( MYST) and the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group ( BMRSG), saw over 220 shoeboxes collected, sorted and distributed to children throughout Western Sydney last year. With more schools involved this year, we’re hoping for even more shoeboxes!

“People in the youth community don’t have many chances to make a difference. This is a good opportunity to make a difference”, says Annabelle. “Doing this makes me happy “said Alana.

Jackie Mayers from BMRSG agrees. “I’ve found it doesn’t take much to make a difference. It’s something anyone can do.” A shoebox can have a powerful impact on young people trying to rebuild their lives and settle into a new future in Australia. This ‘gift of giving’ is not just about the contents of the shoebox, it’s in the gesture, the generous intent and the message from young people in our Blue Mountains community.

The recipients of the shoeboxes range from babies to 18 year olds and we even had some boxes for expectant mums. Each shoebox contains something to love; something to play with; something for school; something for personal hygiene and other age-suitable goodies. However, last year, clearly the most valued item in the boxes proved to be the personal note of welcome, or card from the young person making the box.

“This is a positive, generous and uplifting project to be involved with,” say Sue Campbell-Ross from MYST. ” We encourage anyone who wants to be involved to look at and like our Facebook page- ‘Youth Shoebox Project’ for fuller information, collection points and updates”.

You can also see the ‘How to make a Shoebox’ video prepared by Alana and Annabelle, there.

Download the Youth Shoebox Project Poster



Contact details: Facebook: Youth Shoebox Project.
Sue Campbell-Ross: Disability Programmes Co-Ordinator, MYST- e-mail:
4751 1005 or 0447014142.

Jackie Mayers: Volunteer, Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group-


MYST is a not- for- profit charity that provides care and support to young people in the Blue Mountains, enabling them to grow into confident, well rounded and stable adults.

BMRSG visit people, living in detention and in the community. No matter how they arrive, we provide a welcome and caring face to those who have faced the trauma of leaving home, country and family; persecution; war and displacement.
BMRSG is a project of Blue Mountains Family Services.

Leave a Reply