Santa Shoebox Project 2018: Ready, Set, Gooooo!!

@santashoebox #Charity #SouthAfrica #ChristmasGiving

Think I’m crazy?? Talking about Christmas giving this early in the year?? Well, friends and loyal donors, the busy SSB worker bees have not been asleep the past few months.

Can you believe that, ever since this project started, we’ve managed to collect 762 594 boxes! This achievement would have been totally impossible if not for our donors who manage to, year after year, find the time and funds to fill shoeboxes to give to those who have none. YOU DID THIS! Despite a declining economy, despite NOT having time, YOU MANAGED!! So, thank you a thousand times over.

You may find this surprising, but registration for the 2018 project opens in April and already I have more than 40 new facilities lined up in Pretoria alone. I got my first call on New Year’s eve 2017 and the word spread like wildfire in the townships.

You will therefore understand this call for action. If you want to support our project this year, there is simply  no time like the present to start putting together those fillers. Remember the compulsory items:

  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Facecloth and soap
  • A toy
  • Something sweet
  • Educational supplies
  • Clothing

Be on the lookout for end-of-season sales and pounce when you see a special. Purchase in bulk and you may be surprised at how many items you have collected come pledging time.

This year, the entire schedule will be changed and you will have to keep your eyes peeled for updates on when to pledge and when to drop off your boxes.

Remember, we aim to eventually reach 1 million children across South Africa and Namibia and YOU can be part of this remarkable moment. The moment when the young ones here, on the southern most tip of Africa, can all smile in unison, because someone actually cared enough to pack a gift box for them especially.

Are you ready then? Let’s all join hands in this campaign to bring joy to the littlest angels in our country.

Daycares, orphanages, places of safety and community centres, if you want to become beneficiaries, please make sure you apply online during April.

If you want more information, feel free to visit or complete the contact form below.

Images source: Santa Shoebox Project website: Photo gallery –


Tops and Tags for Change

@wheelchair4love #topsandtags #charity #southafrica #recycle

Do you still remember to collect your plastic bottle tops and bread tags?? If you’ve gotten a bit lazy at doing so, the video above will remind you the difference that collecting these recyclable items can make in the lives of many disadvantaged people.

What the Sweethearts Foundation does is to collect plastic bottle tops and bread tags from the public and then drop it off at companies who recycle these items. Depending on the recycling company, the Sweethearts receive either funds to purchase a wheelchair or a custom made wheelchair itself.

♥ 450 kg Tops = 1 standard adult wheelchair

♥ 50 kg Tags = 1 standard adult wheelchair

As you can imagine it takes quite a lot of tops and/or tags to reach these target weights. That is where you come in, dear donors. Every single top or tag counts. I recently had a lady who has been collecting bread tags for years, her contribution could fit into a small plastic bag, but it was added to other tags already collected and together it made up about 5kg. I know this is still a ways from the target weight of 50kg for a wheelchair, but obviously we are on our way and, without her contribution, we would not have reached 5kg!

I have a challenge for you. Why don’t you ask your work colleagues to start collecting tops and tags? If you manage to reach the target weight, you can actually apply to have a wheelchair donated to someone of your choice!

There are more ways that you can help the Sweethearts. You can volunteer, become a collection point or donate to the cause. Click here to find out how you can help the foundation.

If you are in need of a wheelchair, you can apply here. Your name will be added to the waiting list as soon as all necessary documentation are in place.

For more information about the Sweethearts Foundation, click here to visit the website.


The Sweethearts Foundation website –

Scarf this!! Wool you join us?

Longest Scarf 1

#27kmScarf #YesWeWool @67blankets

As most of the SA knitwits know, we are attempting to create the longest scarf in the universe. Yes, you read correctly…the-longest-scarf-in-the-universe. Oh, unless some alien nation with a wool fetish managed to do this ten thousand years ago on a planet a million light years from us, but that has nothing to do with us, then, does it?

Here’s the scoop! Our leader, queen of wool, big kahuna, Carolyn Steyn, dreamt up this idea sometime in January. You can read her post on the 67 Blankets Facebook Page here. We are challenging India, who currently holds the ‘Wool Cup’ and the World Record for a scarf of some 14km in length.

Our scarf will measure 27km in length and will be displayed at the Mandela Capture Site in Howick, KZN on Sunday, 29 July 2018. To reach this goal, we will need approximately 14 000 scarves, so obviously we need all the help we can get.

You are therefore invited to join in our attempt by crocheting scarves as quickly as you can!

Here are the rules:

  1. All scarves MUST BE CROCHETED!!!
  2. Use a crochet hook size 6,5mm or smaller.
  3. Size of scarves: 20cm width and 200cm or 150cm length.

What is important to remember is NOT the fact that we will be mentioned in the Guinness World Book of Records, neither is it the fact that we will shatter India’s record and be the winners of the ‘Wool Cup’. All that is just window dressing, the icing on the cake. The MAIN FOCUS of this event is to encourage the people of South Africa to become involved in an enormous effort to show their kindness, love and compassion for the less fortunate of our country. Your scarf will be handed over to someone who needs it desperately, someone who will, under other circumstances, be left without warmth in the harsh winter. With so many scarves collected, can you imagine the impact this will have on communities across South Africa?

Remember, even if you contribute just ONE scarf, it will indeed make a difference. So, people, you are all invited to become part of something great this year. What do you say?

If you need more information, please visit the 67 Blankets website here and find your local ambassador. Get in touch and make a difference.

You can also complete the contact form below and I will get back to you ASAP.


FACEBOOK. 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day (South Africa).

YOUTUBE. Jaco Lotter.

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Support Women in Destiny Sports Event

#Charity #SouthAfrica #WomeninDestiny #Hammanskraal #Fundraising

I’ve known Onicca Hlabela from Hammanskraal for ages. She is the ‘mother of Hammanskraal’ and started out by taking in abandoned babies. Said babies often left on her doorstep in the dead of night. She had so many children to care for that she finally started three daycare centers AND the orphanage is still going strong. You may have read about her in my previous posts. She spearheads Ditebogo, God Blessings and Lerato la Mme.

Well, this year she has definitely outdone herself and founded ‘Women in Destiny’. She got together 23 churches in the Hammanskraal area and inspired them to arrange a sporting event for more than a 1000 children.

Problem is, they need sponsors URGENTLY. The event is tentatively scheduled for March 23, 2018 and will take place at the Suurman Hall.

Without outside support this event will remain an impossible dream. Remember, this is a very poor area and the daycare centers and churches barely get by, so I am reaching out to one and all….please support this event. Give these kids a day to remember.

You can contact Onicca on +27 73 180 8371.

You can also complete the contact form below and tell me what you are prepared to donate.

The sweet little ones provided some pics which I made into a short video. Please watch it and GET IN TOUCH.

Thank you SO much for your help.

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 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.

Santa Shoebox Project: the magic 8


@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


@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 and register online.