That was an amazing weekend! Over the weekend of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th October, Big Red Box was based in the foyer of Sainsbury’s, Sydenham and it was an incredible event for so many reasons.
We filled over 90 volunteers slots over the three days, our volunteers are amazingly kind and supportive and we certainly could not do it without them. If you popped in over the weekend i’m sure you saw them handing out flyers, packing crates or loading cars with one of the 230+ crates filled to the brim with food.
Throughout the weekend, many of the Sainsbury’s shoppers who donated so generously were keen to stop with the volunteers and chat about why they wanted to give. We had several amazing encounters and conversations about the customer’s motivations for giving – far too many to fit into one post though!
It was incredible to see people’s generosity. Some folks were kind enough to drop a can or two into the trolley, others a bag or two, whilst some stunned the team by donating whole trolley loads of food. We were thrilled and honoured to see the community come together with their willingness to help others in the community who are less fortunate than themselves at the moment, and we just loved seeing strangers get involved in Big Red Box and wanting to understand more about who we are and what it is we do.
We had some fantastic encounters with customers who wanted to be involved with the project, Helen, one of our volunteers told how one lady had asked when we’d be back again, and had to tell her we were only there for that weekend and she replied:
“Ok I will be back tomorrow with some custard for you.”
When Helen asked her why custard specifically, she replied:
“I was recipient of a Big Red Box a couple of years ago. It helped my family massively at the time but I didn’t have custard in my box and would have loved some with the Christmas pudding!”
It was fantastic to here how someone who needed a Big Red Box only two years ago was now in a better position where she was able to give something back and make sure some other families got custard this year.
Helpers of all ages were there, from 5 to 75, and one of our teenage volunteers, Indigo said:
“The response from the local community is amazing. It’s unbelievable how generous some people are – today a woman donated a whole trolley of food using the nectar points she had collected over the past year or so.”
A really friendly shopper approached Alice, another volunteer and summed up the project in fantastically simple terms…
“It’s a great project because it gives people in need something to eat… and everybody needs to eat!”
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and people loved giving food as they knew where it was going – to the local community – and that they were able to make a direct impact into someone else’s life, maybe even one of their neighbours.
Thanks to both Sainsbury’s, Sydenham, as well as their incredibly generous customers for all their support over the weekend.