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: or complete the contact form below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.


What are you giving on #MandelaDay2017?


Tomorrow we celebrate Mandela Day. We remember the remarkable life of a true ‘father of a nation’, our dear Madiba. Despite his passing away, his legacy will live forever in our hearts. A legacy of justice, respect, love, giving, caring, acceptance, decency and gratitude. Quite a mouthful of virtues, but the truth. Always an advocate for the destitute, he set an example for his fellow South Africans and, as indeed for the entire world.

Through him we learned that by reaching out in humility to those in need, even a simple act of  kindness can bring about global change. Whether you touch the life of one or a multitude of lives, it doesn’t matter. The point is, to humbly give, without judgement and prejudice, with love and kindness.

What are you doing this Mandela Day?

If you have NO idea how to be part of the giving spirit tomorrow, allow me to share some ideas.

  • Support The Sweethearts Foundation by collecting 67 bottle tops and tags or spend 67 minutes collecting bottle tops and tags. Visit them here: to find your local drop off point.
  • Donate wool to 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day, giving our knitwits the means to create blankets, scarves and beanies for those who need something warm during the cold winter months. Find your local ambassador here:
  • Purchase a Dignity Pack from Dignity Dreams and help a girl stay in school, despite having her monthly menstruation cycle. Buy one online here.
  • Start filling a shoebox with items needed to bring some joy to a child over the festive season in support of the Santa Shoebox Project. You can pledge your box in September and take it to your local drop-off in October. Find out more about this initiative here.
  • Donate clothes, linen, books, educational supplies, food, blankets, etc to our organization. We will ensure distribution to those whom we support, which includes around 84 facilities in South Africa. (Complete the contact form below.)

Still not sure how to be part of Mandela Day? Well, here are some more ideas:

  • Find an old age home in your community and drop in during the day. Take some snacks if you like. I’m sure some of the elderly will appreciate your company.
  • Know of a needy daycare centre in your area? Pay them a visit and take some sweets for the children. Sit down with them and read a book or play with them for a while.
  • If you know a family in your community is having a tough time making ends meet, why not prepare a meal and drop it off at their house tomorrow?
  • Stop at the robot for a minute and give the beggar in the street a loaf of bread or a sandwich.
  • Give the car guard in the parking lot something to eat and drink.

Remember, it is not WHAT you give, but HOW you give. Give with a spirit of gratitude for the blessings you have received. Give without expecting anything in return.

If you would like to donate to our organization (or need more information on any of the other organizations mentioned above), please complete the contact form below and we will be in touch.



Help Santa Shoebox Project bring joy to the children of Pretoria

As you may have heard, we are currently celebrating Christmas with the children of South Africa and Namibia. Our Pretoria Team (and other teams across the country) still has a lot of facilities to visit over the coming weeks.

You have packed your beautiful boxes and dropped it off at the Pretoria Chinese School, now it is time to hand out those gifts to the kids. We always try to make these celebration days special for the children by bringing extra sweets, cold drinks, cake and crisps, and, if we are able, even jumping castles! A lot of effort goes into the planning of every party…boxes are sorted, ensuring that every child will indeed receive a gift on the day, extras are packed and we take along loads of fillers for our, so-called ‘boot magic’. We often arrange performances by celebrities or entertainers in the community; people like local magicians and musicians, actors and artists are approached to entertain the children at events. Then we drive out to the facility itself, where ever it may be, and manage the event from beginning until the end, often sneaking in a quick storytelling session as well.

The beauty of this is that you can still be involved in the process; you can come with, as a volunteer, or you can contribute to a party by sponsoring the goodies or the entertainment.

If you are interested, you can e-mail me here with details of your planned involvement and I will get back to you ASAP.

Please visit the website at if you want to find out more about the project.


Santa Shoebox Project 2015 – Applications Open NOW!!


SSB logo

Yes!! It IS really THAT time again! People, SSB 2015 is up and running (has been for a few months already, quietly humming along in the background). Those of you interested can have a look on the website to find out more about the project (click here). While you are busy browsing the amazing images of our beneficiaries, why don’t you consider joining in the fun? Register as a SUPPORTER and become a volunteer in your area. Believe me, the numbers are growing, and we can really do with extra hands to bring all those smiles to little faces! There’s a lot going on behind the scenes and I’m sure each one of you will find just the thing to do for your area’s team. Register, meet the team and become part of something magnificent this year!

You can also sign up for our NEWSLETTER in order to get regular updates on progress and events throughout the year.











Now, a word to those facilities (orphanages, daycare centers, pre-schools, primary and high schools, community centers, etc) all over South Africa and Namibia. If you want to register as BENEFICIARY for the 2015 run of this project, the time is NOW. Applications are open and you can do it online here. You have until 23 April 2015 to apply, after which you will be informed whether your application has been successful or not. A coordinator will be assigned to your facility and he/she will be in touch with further details during May/June 2015. Have a look at our photo gallery and see how things went over the years during our celebrations. IT COULD BE YOU THIS YEAR!! Apply NOW!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with SSB (click here) or you may complete the contact form below, ask your question and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

You can also find Santa Shoebox on FacebookTwitter or Pinterest.


Santa Shoebox Project – Rain Ponchos for Rural Children

SSB rural children receiving boxes 2014

Click on image to visit Santa Shoebox Project

Yes, 2015 is well underway and Santa Shoebox Project 2015 is already busy planning strategies for bringing joy to those who need it most.

You will remember that during our 2014 campaign you, as donor, had the option to purchase a rain poncho for a child. This is part of the 2014 SSB Pipeline programme, which aims to provide rural children with a rain poncho to keep them dry, healthy and in school.

Buy a rain poncho


Many of the shoebox donors contributed to this project too, and for that we are very grateful. According to sources at SSB head office, we have already received enough funds for 300 poncho’s!

As you can imagine there are many thousands of youngsters out there that, during the rainy season, have to slosh through downpours and mud for kilometers just to get to school. Many of these little ones get sick, because they have no means to stay dry and this, in turn, means that they lose precious days in school due to illness. In addition to this, consider the lack of healthcare and proper medicine in the rural areas, not to mention the fact that these children have no nice, warm homes and clothes or healthy food to eat. They, more often than not, live in tiny shacks without electric

y or plumbing, with their unemployed parents and siblings. Remember, Santa comes but once a year, and, although that one filled shoebox brings so much joy and fulfillment it remains only ONE box for ONE child. The box will not keep him dry and healthy….or warm and fed. Hence this initiative, which will contribute to keeping the children of South Africa educated by keeping them dry. By purchasing a rain poncho, you will actually be doing your share to secure the future of our country; you will be ensuring education (#1), avoiding disease (#2), creating awareness (#3) and laying the foundation for a culture of caring in today’s children – the leaders of tomorrow (#4) ….so PLEASE consider purchasing one NOW for just R 200-00.

SSB rain poncho @ R 200-00

The Poncho

Proudly made in South Africa, the specifications of the rain poncho’s are:

  • Printable, water-proof fabric, in dark green or blue
  • Sealed stitching
  • One full-colour print of the SSB logo
  • Extra length in the back to accommodate a backpack
  • Reaches below the knees
  • Visor in hood
  • Draw-string in neck (no zip)
  • Reflective tape in compliance with industry safety standards
  • Reflective colour panelling for daytime visibility
  • No sleeves – hand ”apertures” with flaps to seal
  • Storage baggie attached inside poncho with a carabiner

This year the rain poncho’s will be delivered to farm schools around the Swartland area at the beginning of the second term, just before the winter rainfall sets in.

The deadline to purchase a poncho has been extended until 13 February 2015. You can click here to purchase one now or visit the website for more information.

The Santa Shoebox team thanks you for your loyal support! Without our volunteers, donors and sponsors the work would be futile.

Become a volunteer

Click on image to become part of the miracle

Would you like to coordinate a project in your area? Contact us here.

Would you like to volunteer? Click here.

Or click on the image below to visit the Santa Shoebox website or find SSB on Facebook and Twitter.

SSB logo

The reason for it all……

It is with a little bit of sadness that I bid farewell to this year’s efforts for Santa Shoebox Project in South Africa. It’s been a wild year for me personally, as well as professionally, but in sharing this slide show with you, I hope you will understand the reason behind all the hard work. And if, in the course of the year, you supported Santa Shoebox Project, or any other charity, for that matter….it will help you to understand just how much your one single act of generosity or kindness meant to the individual who received it.

Every little bit DOES count….your one shoebox may seem small in the bigger scheme of things, but to that one recipient child,  it meant the world….it meant that he or she can now feel secure in the knowledge that, somewhere, out there, a stranger cared enough to pack this special box just for him or her.

Giving and sharing, kindness and caring…this is never in vain and with this in mind I recall the ending of our shoebox story (the one we tell the children at celebrations) ”Whoever receives one little child like this in My name, receives Me…For I was hungry, and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in…”

With this I want to thank everyone involved, the public, who gave so generously, the volunteers who helped us do the work at drop-off and celebrations, the facilities for allowing us to bless their kids with gifts…….and the children, always the children….for giving all of us the opportunity to receive more fulfillment from this than we ever thought we would.

May you be blessed in the coming festive season and may the New Year bring prosperity and joy…..I hope to see you all again during Santa Shoebox Project 2015.



Santa Shoebox Project 2014 - Celebrations - YouTube

Another treasure from Santa Shoebox

Via SSB on Facebook.

Working at drop-off points gives us volunteers the opportunity to find treasures on our way to celebrations and yes, sometimes we lose heart, sometimes we even lose our minds!!! It can get REAL hectic around closing day! (WE STILL NEED 1000 BOXES!! YAAAAAAAH!) But it is all worth it….because of these little ”treasures”.

As someone whose work it is to secure donors and donations, find volunteers, source needy projects and facilities and so forth, it can often get very disheartening if you don’t get funding/sponsors/donors to help you support the deprived of our country. It is a juggle between keeping in mind the current economic situation of the general public, having empathy with that AND despite it, still encouraging them to give something to another who are struggling even more. Sometimes, in the past, I’ve felt that I should just give up….you keep on asking, begging, but no-one responds. You feel you are fighting a battle that you cannot possibly win….and why? Why should I make it my problem? One can really get discouraged…

Then something like Santa Shoebox drop-off comes along and we see evidence of kindness and care, things that we think do not exist anymore. We find these little treasures….in 30 x 18 x 13 shoeboxes (sometimes bulging, sagging and threatening to explode its contents in your face), but all, not only filled with lovely things, but covered and decorated with perfection. Each a unique style, each with great effort and thought…..

Here in Pretoria we had our own share of lovely boxes. People REALLY took the time to decorate it and more and more I’ve found personalized messages in these boxes. Parents encourage their young to pack boxes, decorate it and write a note for the receiving child…I really must sit down one day and show you the pictures and tell all the stories….yes, PEOPLE DO STILL CARE.

All the messages and notes are lovely, but just once in a while something like this is discovered and it warms the heart. Such a lovely message …..straight from the heart. The miracle of this poem is, that it captures the spirit of Santa Shoebox Project so perfectly, don’t you agree?