Shoeboxes of Christmas joy

The annual Keith’s Closet Shoebox Appeal, coordinated by the team at SESLHD Mental Health’s Keith’s Closet service, is about bringing joy to mental health patients, both in hospital and the community over Christmas, many of whom may be socially isolated.

Christmas 2023 marks Keith’s Closet’s third Christmas donation drive, with the shoeboxes donated each year given to hospitals in SESLHD and all over NSW.

This year, the community were invited to donate a single shoebox wrapped in Christmas paper and filled with gifts and practical items, along with a hand-written Christmas message of love and kindness.  Over 450 gift-wrapped shoeboxes full of goodies and care items have been generously donated by SESLHD staff and community, to people accessing mental health services this Christmas.

On 2 December, a BBQ promoting the shoe box appeal was held at Keith’s Closet’s new warehouse in Alexandria. 

Clinical Nurse Specialist and Founder of Keith’s Closet (a service supporting mental health patients through walk-in wardrobe facilities), Keith Donnelly said, “I am humbled by the volume of people who made the effort to purchase, pack, wrap and donate to the shoebox appeal this Christmas.”

“The generosity of the community will have a powerful impact on so many mental health patients who might otherwise have received nothing at Christmas. The BBQ was a great opportunity to showcase our new headquarters in the heart of Alexandria. Bring on 2024!”

Keith started Keith’s Closet at Prince of Wales Hospital in 2019, after recognising that patients accessing mental health services often arrived at hospital with limited clothing and toiletries.

Through walk-in wardrobe facilities, Keith’s Closet provides clothing, toiletries, sanitary items, accessories and homewares on admission or discharge from a mental health facility.

To support Keith’s charity and find out more, visit

Volunteers packing boxes for the Christmas donation drive