Box of Hope: Delivering Smiles

When you hear a child say “My face hurts from smiling so much”, you know your mission is a noble and successful one. Founded by Hong Kong Moms Nicole Woolhouse and Harriet Cleverly, and now run by Sian Taylor, Box of Hope has been putting smiles on the faces of children in need since 2008. The philanthropic endeavor started from the simple desire to teach children the power of giving.

Box of Hope collects decorated shoeboxes filled with educational and fun gifts donated by Hong Kong school children. The project not only helps and gives hope to children in need but it also teaches the children giving about helping within their communities. The boxes are delivered by hand in Hong Kong and also shipped to the Philippines, China, Cambodia and Vietnam. Last year, Box of Hope delivered over 32,000 boxes to children in need!


In 2017. Sian was able to visit the Philippines with her daughter to see first hand some of the boxes being delivered. “It was an incredibly moving experience for us both,” said Sian. “We saw for ourselves the conditions that some of these children live in, and how useful the contents of the boxes really are.” Sian’s daughter, Mathilda, has since gone on to speak about the trip to other schoolchildren across Hong Kong. This marries perfectly with the charity’s mission: “Children helping Children”.

Delivering boxes in the Philippines

“We all feel very privileged to be able to work on Box of Hope,” adds Sian. “We are so grateful for the enormous support we receive from the community every year.”

How it Works:


How to Participate: 

  • Where can I get a box? Anywhere!  Shoe stores are happy to give them away, Bookazine and Ikea often have pre-decorated ones.  Plastic boxes can be used and are longer lasting.
  • What should I put in the box?  Hygiene items such as bars of soap, toothbrushes/toothpaste are vital.  Airline amenity packs are great but check they don’t have razors inside!  Here are some more ideas:
    • TOYS:  Something to love — Bear, soft toy, tennis ball, finger puppet, jigsaw, yo-yo, small musical instrument, torch(incl batteries), playing cards, small trucks and cars, doll, jewellery, make-up, hair accessorises, bouncy balls, and stickers.
    • EDUCATIONAL SUPPLIES:  Something to do — books (simple english), felt pens, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, rubber, coloring book, notepad, picture/puzzle book, chalk, pencil case, stickers, calculator, etc.
    • HYGIENE ITEMS:  Something to use — toothbrush & toothpaste, hairbrush, comb, hair clips, bar of wrapped soap, flannel.  NO LIQUIDS.
    • OTHER ITEMS:  Something to wear — sunglasses, cap, sun hat, bangles, necklaces, watch etc.
  • What shouldn’t I put in the box?  Unfortunately, we cannot accept food, medicine, war-related items (i.e toy guns/soldiers/knives), clothing (other than listed above), fragile items (i.e. glass containers/mirrors), liquids, (including blow bubbles/shampoo/bubble bath/toiletry sets/aerosols), and no dangerous items (marbles/sharp objects/scissors/razors).
  • Where can I drop it off?  Drop off your filled box at any of these locations around Hong Kong!
  • When should I drop it off?  Drop-off dates for schools are November 5-9th. Drop-off dates for our offices in Central (Suite 4105, Two Exchange Square) are October 31st to November 15th.
  • How can I get more involved?  Host a ‘Box of Hope’ party!  Invite friends to decorate and fill boxes together.   You can donate some of your own birthday money through Two Presents.  And you can volunteer at the Box of Hope office from November 8th – 17th.  But places go fast!  Contact Box of Hope through their Facebook page or website.
  • Join the design competition!  The boxes received each year are always so beautifully packaged, with such care, that Box of Hope decided to launch a competition for the best design.  The winners will join on a Hong Kong delivery.  It is really fun to see the donating children interacting with the recipients.
  • See the boxes being delivered!  If you’d like to see what happens to the boxes watch the delivery video!
Sian Taylor

About Box of Hope: 

Box of Hope was started by Nicole Woolhouse and Harriet Cleverly in 2008 from a desire to teach their own 6
children the gift of giving. One of the aims of the project is to encourage children ranging from 3 to 18 years to be aware of their environment/community and show them how they can help make a difference. In addition
to providing educational and fun gifts for children in need throughout Asia. Box of Hope works with schools, children’s organisations and private enterprises across Hong Kong. For further information please contact:


Where it all began…

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