Project: St. Vincent De Paul

The Dublin toy shop with no toys

Using empty toy boxes to highlight the struggle many families living below the poverty line face.

2020. The most difficult year for charities. With traditional donation sources obliterated by the lockdown, it was vital that SVP connect the donor and the recipient in a motivating way for its annual Christmas appeal. 

So in December, we opened ‘The Empty Toy Shop.’ A pop-up shop filled with thousands of toy boxes. Each one of them empty, to represent a child who would be left empty-handed on Christmas morning.

Strategically located on Henry Street, one of Dublin’s busiest shopping streets, our goal was to engage Christmas shoppers at the moment they were buying presents for their loved ones. For every box bought in the shop, a donation would directly go towards a toy for a child in need.

Our empty boxes, which another agency client Smurfit Kappa volunteered to produce, were also placed in the windows of SVP charity shops across the country, with messaging reminding customers that every donation was a direct intervention.