Visitors who attend the Sanibel Shell Show love the little bags of shells that they receive when they enter the show. They are a “thank you for your donation” gift from the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club. These gift bags are 4” by 4” and are typically filled with about six or eight appropriately-sized shells.

The club always needs shells to fill these bags. Are you cleaning out your garage? Do you want to downsize your shell collection? You might consider donating some of your shells to the Shell Club. Donated shells should not be larger than a full-grown Florida fighting conch. Ideally, each bag will be filled with shells around the size of an adult apple murex and might include banded tulips, olives, calico clams, moon snails, nutmegs, or others of that size.

The shells do not have to be from the local area. Any shells of the right size make the bagging process go smoothly and quickly. The shells should be cleaned, with barnacles removed and the sand shaken out, since the club does not have a way to clean them at the “bagging parties.”

Very small shells, such as kitten paws and coquinas, get lost in the bags, but they can be used as craft shells, so we would be very glad to have those also.

Shells larger than a full-grown Florida fighting conch are too large to fit in the bags. They can be donated to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum for use in their educational programs, or to the Sanibel Community Association “shell-sorters” for sale at the Shell Festival.

Contact Linda Edinburg at 239-395-9426 or Irene Longley at 239-283-7417 to arrange for either pick-up or delivery of your shell donation for the Shell Club. Please do not drop off shells you intend for our use at the Museum.