Santa Shoebox Project: the magic 8

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@santashoebox #Charity #SouthAfrica #Magic8

New to giving with the Santa Shoebox Project? Well, listen up, some helpful tips coming your way!

Though not the official ‘codename’, I think ‘magic 8’ will work to describe the 8 compulsory items every box should contain.

These are very basic and, if you are an old hand at Santa Shoebox-packing, you will know that you need not wait until the last minute to purchase these items. They can be added to your monthly grocery list so that you can start collecting them in January. You will also know to keep an eye out for specials throughout the year. In the end, using just your magic 8-collection, you will probably be able to fill quite a number of boxes.

Here is the list:

  • Toothpaste and toothbrush (You sometimes get a set of paste and brush at Dischem at a reasonable price.
  • Soap and facecloth (Soap can be bought in bulk at Makro and you can actually get creative with that facecloth. Over the years we’ve seen ones decorated with the beneficiary child’s name and some have a beautiful little crocheted border.)
  • Sweets (Try to avoid chocolate, as it melts in the SA heat and can make a mess of your entire box. Also, no drinks and remember to pack an age appropriate sweet, like marshmallows for babies.)
  • Educational supplies (Anything from pens and pencils to mathematical sets, but remember to make it age appropriate.)
  • Toys (No guns, not even water pistols, or anything that can be used as a weapon. Also, please avoid religious items.)
  • Clothing (You need not pack an entire outfit, even socks or underwear can be counted as ‘clothing’. Make sure the size of the clothes will fit your pledged child.)

To this you can add whatever you like to fill up your box. Use your imagination and let your own kids become part of the project. Let them write Christmas notes to the child (the kids LOVE that) or have them draw a pretty picture.

Now, the boxes, next week I’ll be sharing a video to help you with ideas on how to cover the box. Suffice to say, for now, make it fun and interesting.

REMEMBER to paste your printed label on the box and do not damage the bar code. That will tell our computers exactly where the box must go, even if the name is lost!

Keep well and happy packing!

If you have questions or queries, please complete the contact form below and we will get back to you ASAP.

BY THE WAY you can print out the image above and paste it on carton. Cut it out and it becomes a little puzzle that you can add to your box!

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Santa Shoebox Project: A pledge is a promise

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@santashoebox #PledgeIsAPromise #Charity #Giving

Every year the teams at SSB drop-offs around South Africa are faced with one big problem. So called ‘no shows’. ‘No shows’ are pledged boxes that are never delivered.

You cannot believe the work that teams have to do just to get a drop-off up and running, not to mention doing marketing, sourcing donors, checking boxes, coordinating bulk pledges, ensuring that there are enough ‘fillers’, managing time schedules for volunteers, coordinating transport of cartons and planning celebrations. (Fillers are the compulsory items which are often forgotten by our enthusiastic donors. During ‘box checking’ these items are added to the boxes). Fortunately our magnificent teams have all this down to a science and things usually run very smoothly.

Unfortunately, we always have to deal with ‘no shows’. I want you to consider this for a minute: imagine you are promised something and you look forward to receiving it for months, only to realize that you are not going to get it after all. Every year we are faced with that problem. How do you tell an innocent child that the promised gift will not be delivered, because a donor couldn’t manage to make good on his promise to pack a box? It is simply not possible. That is why it is the team’s responsibility to ensure that every child on the pledged list get a box. We pack boxes ourselves and use our ‘fillers’ to do so. You may think that it is just one or two boxes, you are SO wrong. Sometimes it is hundreds of boxes.

So, while I am encouraging you to become part of the phenomena that is Santa Shoebox, to do your little bit by pledging a box, I also beg of you to make good on that pledge. A pledge is a promise. Not to us, but to a child. A child that has never received a Christmas gift in his life. We work closely with facilities like daycare centres and orphanages to plan their Santa Shoebox gifts. It is not as if it will be a huge surprise to them, they are expecting to receive boxes. The beneficiary facilities usually help plan celebration days and these events become the highlight of the year. The children are prepared well in advance for this spectacular day and are sometimes even part of it by performing dances or singing. Can you imagine the disappointment if we have to cancel it all because the boxes were ‘no shows’?

If you think you will NOT be able to fill a box with the necessary items, then you should not pledge one. You can still bring joy to the children by volunteering your services or donating ‘fillers’ if you can afford it. I know that times are tough. The economy is in a downward spiral and few people have the financial resources to give to charity. Some people may even feel that they need some charity themselves! Just, please, do not make a promise you cannot keep.

As I mentioned, you can still be involved without spending money. Volunteer to help at drop-off or join the team when they hand out the gifts during celebrations. No one will think less of you if you just volunteer, you are, after all, still giving. You are giving your time to bring joy to others.

REMEMBER: you don’t have to fill the box to the brim. While we do appreciate it and the children are, of course, thrilled by all the lovely items inside, the compulsory items will suffice.

These items are:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Soap and facecloth
  • Sweets
  • Educational supplies
  • Toys
  • Clothes

For those of you who pack boxes and drop it off on time, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To the children you are angels from heaven, bringing brightness to their dull lives. You are doing something that the child will remember forever.

You are indeed making a difference.

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch by completing the contact form below.

If you would like to pledge a box or volunteer now, please visit http://www.santashoebox.org.za and register online.

‘The little Optimist’: Your purchase, our gift

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@santashoebox #TheLittleOptimist #GregBertish

Purchase a copy of The Little Optimist and a Santa Shoebox beneficiary child will receive a copy for free! Save the date to meet Greg Bertish at the CTICC on Saturday 11 November, and have your copy signed.

https://tinyurl.com/y75cw6e3

SOURCE:

Santa Shoebox Project on Facebook.

67 Blankets: #MMM Deadline

@67blankets #MMM #Charity #SouthAfrica #Crocheting #Knitting #YesWeWool

Oh yes, people, the deadline is looming ever closer! All your #MMM-blankets must be handed in by 15 December 2017.

Wondering where we stand ‘blanket wise’? Have a look at the images above. These represent the #MMM stock as on 17 August.

Need I say more? Well, if you cannot properly see the figures in the picture, here it is:

88/964 Grey blankets – still need 876
16/480 Black blankets – still need 464
31/84 Red blankets – still need 53
13/76 Yellow blankets – still need 63
11/84 Blue blankets – still need 73
14/76 Green blankets – still need 62

We will have to get creative at the speed of light NOW if we want to make target by 15 December.

Just to remind you, here is the plan for the blanket itself. Have a look at the colour codes for the wool below.

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The wool we use is Pullskein DK & Charity DK. The colour codes are as follows:

Light Grey (59) & Silver Grey (011)
Black (01) & Black (017)
Red (13) & Red (136)
Yellow (62) & Bright Yellow (138)
Royal Blue (05) & Royal Blue (008)
Bright Green (63) & Emerald Green (022)

Look at these beauties that were created by our enthusiastic knitwits:

Head office was also blessed by a financial donation from Telesure. They were able to purchase 5000 balls of grey wool with the funds.

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So, my message to you today, if you’ve already finished a few #MMM’s (sounds like candy, doesn’t it?), thank you SO very much for your hard work. If you still plan to contribute a blanket, please start as soon as you can so that you don’t miss the deadline.

REMEMBER: DEADLINE IS 15 DECEMBER 2017.

If you have any questions, do get in touch with head office via the website: www.67blankets.co.za. You can also look up your regional ambassador and give him or her a shout. Alternatively,  complete the contact form below and we’ll be in touch ASAP.

Have a greyt day, everyone!!

All images via @67 blankets on FB: bit.ly/2xTx5qH

A Reminder: #MMM – Massive Mandela Masterpiece

 

You’ve heard about this before, I know, but I am now REMINDING you that time is CRUCIAL!! If you want to get involved in this project, the time is NOW!

Perhaps you will remember our record a few years back, when we laid out blankets, received from far and wide, at Drakenstein Correctional Centre in Paarl. A massive 10 324 blankets covered an area of 17 181 sqm and we slammed the world record. Phew, what a wonderful day that was. You can read the article here.

blanket

Image via SABC News.

Next year, however, we aim to make THE LARGEST PORTRAIT BLANKET IN THE WORLD!!!!! Our #MMM (Massive Madiba Masterpiece).

The idea is to lay out the blanket on 24 April 2018 to mark 24 years of democracy. The residents at Zonderwater Correctional Centre in Cullinan is on board to help us create enough squares and blankets to achieve our goal of 1 764 blankets. This portrait blanket will measure 4 515sqm and special permission has been granted from Correctional Services to photograph it from the air. Can you IMAGINE how amazing that will be?

I’ve also heard whispers that management is trying to convince space authorities to get us a glimpse of this masterpiece from space! So, let’s hope and pray they are successful, because THAT will truly be remarkable.

The blanket will consist of:

964 Grey blankets
480 Black blankets
84 Red blankets
76 Yellow blankets
84 Blue blankets
76 Green blankets

Each blanket must measure exactly 160cm/160cm or, if you are making squares: 20cm/20cm.

You can either knit or crochet, but your measurements MUST be exact, as each blanket will become a  ‘pixel’ in the photograph.

The wool we use is Pullskein DK & Charity DK. The colour codes are as follows:

Light Grey (59) & Silver Grey (011)
Black (01) & Black (017)
Red (13) & Red (136)
Yellow (62) & Bright Yellow (138)
Royal Blue (05) & Royal Blue (008)
Bright Green (63) & Emerald Green (022)

Our Chief Knitwit, Carolyn Steyn encourages us all to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime event. This is your chance to make a difference and DO something that can change the world. She says: “Long live the Knitting Revolution for Madiba!!!! Let’s ROCK this project for the entire world to witness how we are keeping the legacy of our late great father of our nation, Tata Madiba (and the ideals for which he stood) alive with each and every stitch we make with our own two hands.” [Facebook]

So, have you decided yet? Are you going to make a grey blanket or two, or six??? Visit www.67blankets.co.za and pledge your blanket. You can also drop in on our Facebook Page or contact your local ambassador for more info. (Find your local ambassador here.)

Alternatively, complete the contact form below and I will get back to you ASAP.

Keep in mind that you need not do the crocheting or knitting yourself. Many people can’t, but that doesn’t mean you cannot pledge a blanket or squares. You can sponsor someone (a friend, family member, lady at your local old age home) by purchasing the wool and having her or him do the work. You can ALSO just donate the needed wool and drop it off at your local ambassador.

Come on, people, let’s DO this!

 

SOURCES:

67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela (South Africa). 2017. Posted by: Carolyn Steyn on Facebook. THE LARGEST PORTRAIT BLANKET IN THE WORLD!!!!! [Web:] bit.ly/2vFhkjr

SABC News. 2016. Article by: Lebo Tshangela. 67 Blankets founder ‘euphoric’ after setting Guinness World Record. [Web:] bit.ly/2w9V9Uw

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Santa Shoebox Project 2017: are you joining us? @santashoebox

Oh yes, people, it is THAT time of year again! I can’t believe it, you know. It seems like Christmas 2016 was just yesterday. But, as they say, time waits for no one.

Are you going to be part of the Santa Shoebox movement this year? If not, I want to challenge you to pledge at least ONE box or give a donation of fillers (I’ll tell you all about that later in this post).

Officially pledging opens on 1 September, but that does not mean you cannot start collecting items for your box NOW.

And while you’re at it, why not encourage your colleagues or business to do a bulk pledge!! You can get in touch with one of our representatives (see here) and even join the team on celebration day. NOTHING measures up to the smiles you see on those little faces!

So why not drop in at the website and register (click here). All you need to fill a box are:

  • Toothpaste
  • Tooth brush
  • Bar of soap
  • Wash cloth
  • An outfit of clothing
  • Educational supplies
  • Sweets
  • A toy

Decorate your shoebox and find your local drop-off point here. Bring to us and we’ll do the rest.

If you are not a South African or Namibian resident, but still want to contribute, you can do so by supporting us financially. Click here to find out how.

For more information on the project, please visit the website: www.santashoebox.org.za or complete the contact form below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

 

#Zululand adventurer to run for #charity

#iSimangaliso #wetlandspark

“AFTER his epic 2016 Cape-to-Cairo cycle, St Lucia-based adventurer Gaven Sinclair is once again set to embark on an adventure of a lifetime as he prepares for a trail run covering five southern African countries in 210 days.

While Gaven is an adventurer at heart, his trips are all in the name of charity. His goal is to raise awareness of, and funding for, Missing Children South Africa (MCSA).

Gaven will set off on his unsupported trail run on 1 September from St Lucia, heading towards Mozambique.” [Tamblyn: 2017]

SOURCE:

JOLLY, Tamlyn.  2017.  Zululand adventurer to run across southern Africa for charity. [Web:] Zululand Observer.  [Date of Access: August 2, 107