Help bring joy to a child this festive season by participating in the 2012 Santa Shoebox Project, a non-profit organisation that has been collecting Christmas gifts for thousands of underprivileged children since 2006.
The target for 2012 is 100 000 shoeboxes, to be dispatched to more than 900 children’s homes, orphanages and other child care institutions across the country – with emphasis this year on extending to small towns and farming communities in the country, who are in desperate need of assistance.
The heart-warming Santa Shoebox Project is an initiative of the Kidz2Kidz Trust, a registered Public Benefit, and Non Profit Organization with Section 18A status, that offers assistance to children in need.
With ‘share the joy of giving’ as the essence of the project, the Santa Shoebox Project is instrumental in involving people from all walks of life, especially children together with their parents, in giving to children from a distinctly vulnerable social background who may never have received a Christmas gift before. Parents are encouraged to involve their children who personally choose and fill the gift boxes, and then decorate and label each with the recipient’s name.
Spearheaded by Kidz2Kidz founder Dee Boehner and coordinated by Irené Pieters since 2007, the project has grown in leaps and bounds. It started in Cape Town (in 2006) with only 180 Santa Shoeboxes, and in the past six years not only extended to Namibia, but more than doubled in size every year – ending on a new record of 70 489 Santa Shoeboxes in 2011.
The Santa Shoebox Project is run by an extensive network of volunteers across South Africa and Namibia. It also relies on the kind backing of various corporate sponsors pledging monetary or pro bono logistics support, while many companies involve their staff members to pledge Santa Shoeboxes as part of their Corporate Social Investment programmes.
Uniquely, the donor knows the first name, age, gender, and care institution of the child the gift was bought for. The Santa Shoebox Project manages the network and distributes the gifts, as well as provides content guidelines for each individual gift box, to ensure that every child receives an age appropriate gift. Typically, this will comprise of some necessities, such as toothpaste and toothbrush, face cloth and soap, as well as some sweets, educational supplies, a toy and an outfit of clothing.
Many people have a desire to contribute to their community or do their ‘little bit for charity’, but often don’t know where to start. The Santa Shoebox Project takes pride in channeling all that positive energy and goodwill into something that is credible, achievable, makes a real difference in the lives of individual children, and leaves the donor with the satisfying feeling of having brought joy to a child during the Festive Season.
Creamer Media's Polity speaks to Santa Shoebox Project national coordinator Irené Pieters about the project, an inspiring community initiative of the Kidz2Kidz Trust.
You can help make 100 000 little hearts happy this Christmas by pledging a box, too. Click here for more information.