Link to Hope

The theme for April on the Link to Hope Calendar is Accessories – bring fun with hair accessories, jewellery, small bags/purses, umbrella, sunglasses.   Some other options include belts, ties, ladies’ headscarves or thin summery neck scarves.  You could class handkerchiefs as accessories.

Following on from last months blog, scrunchies and headbands are easy to make, and I usually buy multi packs of hairbands in different colours and put a few in each box.  I’ve previously added them to small purses, but I haven’t found any cheap ones recently so I now add them to small coloured toile drawstring bags, and I add hair grips to the bags I put in the elderly boxes.  I always try and add a few items of costume jewellery.  I like to add brooches or necklaces to the elderly boxes, and necklaces, bracelets or earrings to the family boxes. 

My local charity shops seem to be quite expensive but I know that varies around the country.  Car boot sales are sometimes better for bargains.  I’ve also bought job lots of costume jewellery from Ebay which has worked out very cost effective and gives a good range of items. (Read the description carefully though to check the pieces aren’t broken.)  Temu also have some really good value items but there’s less choice. 

Simple back packs or shopping bags are good to put in the shoebox.  I bought a few of the strong reusable shopping bags with a Christmas theme in the January sales from The Works.  The Works sometimes have small children’s colour in bags for £1.00 – they are sometimes available in other stores.  Alternatively make a simple back pack or shopping bag – there are lots of examples on the internet. 

I’ve bought ties from a charity shop – though generally they seem to be £3.00-£4.00 in my local charity shops.  I might put a call out on Freecycle or Freegle to see if anyone in my local area has any they want to give away 😊.  I’ve got wool and candles, and hats and gloves from Freegle before for the shoeboxes.   (If you haven’t heard of Freegle or Freecycle they are free internet sites that aim to increase reuse and reduce items going to landfill.  You can post items you want to give away or ask for items that you’d like.)

It’s probably best to shop around for sunglasses at the end of summer. 

The new Link to Hope shoebox leaflets are being sent out.  The only changes that I’ve noticed for the contents are that there has been a slight change regarding candles and tealights.  In the essential items last year’s leaflet said Candles or Tealights and Holders, but this year’s leaflet states Candles and Holders’ or Tealights.  The implication is that you no longer need to add a holder for tealights.  Personally, I’ll still add a holder as the metal containers of most tealights get quite hot and could scorch the surface underneath.

The other change is that the size of shampoo bottles has now increased from a maximum of 300ml to 400ml.  The cheapest shampoo still seems to be 500ml, but it does give a few more options 😊.

The shoebox instructions section has also been updated.  It provides the same information but is more colourful and engaging.  

The Farm Animal Sanctuary.

They have several events scheduled this year as they still need to raise a lot of money to purchase the site the sanctuary occupies.   

The first is a Sheepover on 1-2 June.  Spend the night camping at the Farm Animal Sanctuary for the night and get to know the animals.  Golden Glaze Donuts will be on hand selling their lovely donuts and food will be available from Boxx n Bar on Saturday evening and a breakfast option on Sunday morning.  Tickets £10.00 for children aged 1-14 and £20.00 for adults and children 15 and over. 

In July they are holding the Freedom Fields Festival on 6 & 7 July.  A weekend ticket including camping costs £65.00 for adults,  5-15 year olds £45.00 including costs, under 5’s free.  One day tickets are £40.00 for adults and £25.00 for 5-15 year olds.  Parking £5.00. 

This month’s bargains.

Most of my bargains this month have been from the online store Temu.  Prices vary each day but I’ve bought ladies headscarves for between 73p and 79p, heart pendent 27p, large nail clippers 17p a pair, work gloves 38p, 10 black toothbrushes for 68p, 10 soft toothbrushes with covers for 58p, 5 silver and turquoise bracelets for 99p, 13 silver and blue rings for 48p, 14 thin gold bangles for 88p, packs of 10 scrunchies £1.07-£1.09.

My only other bargain was an Easter craft pack from Tesco for 50p.

Happy shoe box shopping 😊

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