Superdry Christian Workplace Group does Christmas Shoebox Appeal

Superdry shoe boxes portrait
For a second year running, our workplace faith group ran a Christmas Shoebox Appeal, for the charity Teams4u. Last year we sent 99 boxes to Eastern Europe, and 145 this year! The idea was very well received, not just by our head of HR, but also from every single department from our head office. This year again, I was allowed to speak to our monthly ‘all-staff huddle’ (700+ people from our head office attending, including our CEO Euan Sutherland and the whole exec team). One of our corporate values is ‘Family’, so this is a project which was received very well within the company. There is no cost for the business as we’re able to recycle empty shoe boxes from our Sample Department, and from a management point of view, it’s a great way to engage people and increase morale.

Across the head-office I am now well-known to be “the lady from customer services who ran the Christmas shoebox appeal”. This reputation meant that I was recently asked to join the company “community” group, looking after charitable donations and gifts to local charities. Through my involvement in the Christmas Shoebox and other projects that this has led on to (i.e. we also ran an Easter egg appeal for our local foodbank this year), I feel that my friends and I can fruitfully bring Kingdom values into the whole office. It would be easy to feel dis-hearted by the fact that we “only” collected 145 boxes, from an office of 700 people – but then I remember that without our courage to put this idea to HR and our hard work, there would have been none.

It’s also a great conversation starter. People will often ask me: “What happened to the shoeboxes?” and I explain that they will be taken to my home church, Salem Baptist Church, before they start their journey to Eastern Europe. From this initial enquiry the conversation often leads on to church or faith conversations.

This is why I love Christmas time in the office. As Christians in the workplace, this is the easiest time of the year to make reference to the Gospel, whether it’s through a Shoebox appeal or Christmas Foodbank collection, a carol concert at the local church, or, if you are allowed, Christmas music in your office. It’s an opportunity to invite your work colleagues.  If there is one church service that people are likely to agree to go to (except a wedding and a funeral), it’s on Christmas Day!

Marion David