Santa Shoebox Project: Decorate your box

@santashoebox #Charity #SouthAfrica #SuzelleDIY

Still wondering how to decorate your box?

Watch Suzelle’s video NOW for some creative ideas and get GOING! Pretoria drop off opens next week, Thursday, so time is short. (If you live elsewhere in South Africa, visit the website at http://www.santashoebox.org.za to find your area’s drop off dates and times.)

REMEMBER your box is also part of the gift. The children tend to keep the boxes and fill them with precious keepsakes. Some of these children have nothing, so that box becomes their own, personal (and secret) treasure box. You may think it is ‘just a box’, but to them it becomes a personal item, something belonging JUST to them.

You have no idea how much your gift changes their lives. It makes them feel special, loved and worthy of another person’s attention and care. There simply are no words to describe what it means to them.

REMEMBER: one box, one life and a world of difference.

Any questions? Complete the contact form below.

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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!

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.

Santa Shoebox Project: be part of the magic

#SSB2017 @santashoebox

One week into pledging! Have you done yours yet?

Why not get your colleagues, school or business to do a bulk pledge? Want to know how? E-mail me at: ilzehallidayfoundation.sharon@gmail.com.

Look at these lovely boxes from Camps Bay High and be inspired.

Via #SantaShoeboxProject on instagram.com/p/BYxTu4hFAyz/

#AugustKindnessChallenge #Day31

Day 31

Today it is our turn to thank you. Thanks for following this series of challenges with me and thank you for taking part. With simple acts of kindness, you have changed lives this August.

Watch the slideshow below to recap what you’ve been doing this month.

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This is, however, not yet the end….if you’ve done your daily challenge and took photographs, please share it with us. If you want to tell your own ‘kindness story’, please do so. E-mail to: ilzehallidayfoundation.sharon@gmail.com with header: #AugustKindnessChallenge.

Alternatively, complete the contact form below, share your story in comments and submit.

Once again, friends, we do SO appreciate the fact that you cared enough to take part in this month long challenge. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

God bless!

Remember, complete the form below to share your kindness story.

 

#AugustKindnessChallenge #Day30

Day 30

I know you’ve noticed the spring flowers, the fresh smells in the air…yes, summer is on it’s way. It is time for you to clear out wardrobes and make room for new, lighter clothing to wear in the warm, warmer, HOT AS HELL-months that lie ahead.

Use this opportunity to sort your clothes. Those that you don’t want or wear anymore, donate it to charity. Did your children outgrow their clothes? Box it and drop off at your church or organization that constantly needs clothes to distribute in the communities they serve.

Old blankets or linen? Toys, books, furniture? Anything you don’t want or need anymore will be a welcome contribution that can help make someone else’s life easier.

Don’t know where to take it? If you are in South Africa I can help, just complete the form below and I’ll tell you where to drop off your donated items. International readers, please contact your local Oxfam, charity shop or church.