CHILDREN'S SMILEY BAGS

In a world where there is so much luxury amid so much poverty, those of us who have need to share with those who don’t. There is so much suffering, and the needs are so great, yet every one of us can do something to make a difference.

The conflicts in the Middle East are robbing hundreds of thousands of children of their innocence, their happiness and their education. Each Smiley Bag filled with toiletries, underwear, toys and love will bring a little joy to one child.

COLLECTING AS A GROUP OR SCHOOL

Smiley Bags are a wonderful project to undertake with a group of friends, in a school, or with your own children. Each bag is a manageable size for one family or small group to fill. Others may aim to fill a few bags.  

Larger groups such as schools and churches may buy a few dozen bags and ask people to take away a shopping list and a bag, fill it and return it. Or they may ask people to donate a few of the items on the shopping list. They will then fill the bags, checking that everything is included before bringing them to us.  

PLEASE NOTE: If you plan to collect items or money from other people (friends, church, schools etc.) to fill Smiley Bags, you will have to check that all the bags are correctly filled and labelled before bringing them to us. YOU WILL NEED TO REGISTER AS A COLLECTOR before you start.  To find out more about what is involved in being a collector, please request one of our information packs.

BUYING SMILEY BAGS

A child’s Smiley Bag should be a drawstring backpack, attractive bag approx. 34x44cm. These can be bought online, including on Amazon and eBay. (To limit the cost/delivery time, check that free delivery is included and that they are shipped from the UK.) Larger groups may place a bulk order of 200 for just under £1 per bag at www.shugon.com/5890-staffordbackpack   

HOW TO FILL A SMILEY BAG

1)      Print the Smiley Bag shopping list (click on the link at the bottom of this page to download the list).

2)      Choose whether you are going to fill the bag for a boy or girl, and choose an age group: 3-5 years old, 6-9 years old or 10-13 years old. 

3)      Go shopping: all of the items are easy to buy in the supermarket with your weekly shopping and in some pound shops – no need to spend a fortune. Big card shops such as The Card Factory usually stock cute and affordable soft toys. Make sure each item is suitable for the age group you’ve chosen.

4)    Cut out the label, fill it in appropriately, and stick it securely on the outside of the bag using clear sticky tape.

5)       Tick each item on the list, as you pack it in the Smiley Bag*; then place the list inside the bag. Please don’t pack anything that is NOT on the list. Everything must be NEW with tags or labels. Do NOT pack any second hand items as customs rules mean new and second hand items must be sent separately.

Please DO NOT ADD ANY FOOD, SWEETS, CHOCOLATE OR GUM.  

6)    Please donate £2 per Smiley Bag to cover shipping costs: CLICK HERE

 

SMILEY BAGS DELIVERY

We are a small, Brighton-based charity, and we rely on an ever-changing network of volunteers to receive local donations of our aid across the UK. The way you should deliver your dignity bags will depend on where you are located, and how many bags you collect.

For more than 20 bags: Please contact us via this link http://www.samarasaidappeal.org/collectors and ask to register as a collector. Registering as a collector will give you access to our storage hubs (locations vary) where you can deliver on certain dates. Please do this before you start collecting, as you will need to make sure that you are able to deliver your collection of bags, packed in banana boxes, to one of our hubs on the right dates.

For up to 20 bags: If there is a clothes appeal in progress, please check on this page http://www.samarasaidappeal.org/clothes/ if we have a local collector registered in your area. If this is the case, get in touch with them to ask if they are happy for you to deliver your Smiley Bags to them, and offer to contribute to their transport costs. (If you will be delivering more than 4 bags, it would help if you packed them in banana boxes. You should be able to fit 4 bags in each box.) Please note that if you have a larger number of bags, it might be too much for them to accept these, in which case we would ask you to request our information pack before registering as a collector with us and make plans to deliver to one of our storage hubs.  

Alternatively, ship your dignity bags using a courier service such as Hermes (https://www.myhermes.co.uk/), for delivery Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5pm only to the following address:

SAMARA’S AID APPEAL, c/o Link to Hope, Links House, Park Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 2AN

Please don't deliver items to this address in person unless you have pre-arranged this with Helen, Samara or Tamsin in advance.

A full Smiley Bag weighs around 1.8-2 kg; with Hermes you can send parcels up to 15 kg. They have a number of drop-off points across the country and will pick up from you for a small additional fee.