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Virtual Gift Box Pilot Project

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Nothing at ADRA-UK pleases us more than to bring a smile to a child’s face. In our work children take a central position. The annual Gift Box Appeal was born out of this passion. 

For the past twelve years, ADRA-UK have run the Gift Box Appeal and distributed boxes in Madagascar, Zambia, Ghana, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Toga, Guyana and most recently, Rwanda.  Last year, we were able to send a shipping container with just under 5,000 boxes to the Kibiza refugee camp in Rwanda.  Over the years we probably have transported between 50,000 and 60,000 boxes across the world. What an accomplishment!

But what if we could find a way to have more people in the UK get involved and we could bring smiles to more children that really need something to lift their spirits?

We want to find ways to make the Gift Box project biggergreener and yet more sustainable. Importantly, we want to explore a new delivery model that maximises donations but that also reduces one of our biggest Gift Box project overheads – shipping and customs charges. After researching options, we want to try something new: we call it a ‘pilot project’ – to test if this is the way forward. A Gift Box pilot project that will bring positive change to the way we do things! One that will help us break through the 6,000 restriction cap, that applies to shipping a container. 

Here is what we are planning to do!

Our pilot project will be launched with ADRA Swaziland. Two years ago, we brought physical gift boxes to Swaziland and presents an ideal location to test the new pilot Gift Box project and compare the impact.

Instead of a complicated and limiting system of sending actual Gift Boxes from the UK overseas we want to bring the Gift Box Appeal into the new digital age. 

This is where we need your help. Everyone who wants to be part of this pilot project will be given an internet link and can fill a virtual Gift Box using a new secure web app. Through a ‘drag and drop’ system a box is filled with virtual gifts. Each box filled will cost just £10. Nothing new here EXCEPT we will not send a REAL box to Swaziland now but INSTEAD send the money directly to ADRA Swaziland to source the gifts needed locally. We are aiming to send at least 100 virtual gift boxes for this pilot. 

This initiative will bring several benefits, including support for the local economy as gifts are sourced locally and we would significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the project. Instead of spending precious ADRA resources on a complex logistics system we will benefit children more effectively and directly. 

Project updates with human interest stories and pictures will arrive in each donor’s mailbox and will bring smiles to our faces too!

We really want to try this out and measure the results. That’s why it is a pilot. Can we really get more people involved and reach more children in this fashion?

Are you interested in helping us with this pilot project? Are you willing to buy a virtual Gift Box and help us to test and evaluate the model? Will you want to bring a smile to children’s faces in Swaziland again? Discover more and register your interest in the pilot which will start on the 11th of June and will end on the 31st of July



Further information: 

Between 2005 and 2017:

- Number of countries: 12
- Number of boxes shipped: 50,000 – 60,000

In 2017:

- Cost of the programme: £30,000
- Cost per gift box shipped: £7.00
- Number of gift boxes send to the churches: 6,000
- Number of actual boxes send to Rwanda: 5,000
- Missing-in-action boxes*: 1,000 at a cost of £2,000
- Only 115 out of 330 churches participated (due to limit on boxes available)
- Only in in every 7 members participated (due to limit on boxes available)

*boxes send to the churches but never received back at ADRA-UK

 Seven benefits of the virtual gift box:

1- every member and friend in the UK can participate;
2- unlimited scope of work;
3- more children can benefit;
4- appropriate gifts for the local environment;
5- excellent value for money (little spend on shipping and logistics);
6- ecological very small carbon footprint – better for the environment;
7- benefit the local economy;