Shoebox of surprises

The Santa Shoebox Project has launched a three-year goal for its March to a Million project, with the aim of reaching one million children by 2019.

The project started in 2006 with a mere 180 shoeboxes and in only 10 years the charity has grown to a total of 652 180 shoeboxes which are distributed to more than a thousand recipient facilities each year.

The project relies on people who give their time and expertise freely and also on corporate sponsors.

According to the founder and chief executive officer Irené Pieters, the goal increases each year in order to reach the one million mark. This year the goal is 110 000 shoeboxes. Next year it will be 115 000 and in 2019 the goal will be 125 000 shoeboxes.

“We exceeded 650 000 boxes last year – this is an astronomical figure and we are beyond thrilled. We are working hard to reach one million underprivileged children in the next two years. South Africa, we need you to make this possible,” said Pieters.

If each current donor enlists three friends to pledge a shoebox per year, the one million goal will be within reach. Alternatively, donors will be able to donate a virtual shoebox valued at R400 which the Santa Shoebox team will fill with the necessary goods themselves.

Help South African children with a gift of hope and care.

Pledging opens on 1 September and the decorated Santa Shoeboxes can be dropped off at central distribution points across the country on designated dates in October. All donated items must be age-appropriate and new.

A list of drop off locations and dates can be found here:

Find my local Drop Off

The following items are required to fill a Santa Shoebox:

  • Standard sized shoebox or plastic container, box & lid wrapped separately
  • Barcoded label which the donor will receive upon pledging online
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Facecloth
  • Soap
  • Toy
  • Outfit of clothing
  • School supplies
  • Sweets



Marnelle Greyling

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