Gifts in transit for children

Thousands of children across South Africa will again feel the magic of Christmas this year, thanks to the Santa Shoebox Project.

Ford Shoe01

And of course, thanks to the red Ford Transit that is helping to deliver these gifts to underprivileged communities, spreading joy wherever it goes.

Since starting out in Cape Town in 2006 with just 180 shoeboxes, Santa Shoebox has established itself as one of the leading NPOs in the country. It has now reached a total donation of 1 077 289 shoeboxes – with the #beyondthemillion campaign active throughout 2021.

The project relies on the efforts of those more fortunate to make sure that, between October and December, tens of thousands of underprivileged children have some festive cheer to look forward to. For these disadvantaged children opening a gift that includes even just the basic essentials is enough to instantly bring a smile to their faces.

Up to two hundred neatly packed and personalised shoeboxes are loaded in the Ford Transit at a time and driven on a tight schedule daily. This year was no exception, the Ford sleigh covered over six thousand kilometres in three months, with hundreds of beneficiary facilities around Gauteng, North West and the Free State receiving these prized shoeboxes.

Santa's sleigh covered over 6 000 km in 3 months.

Santa Shoebox has achieved this phenomenal #beyondthemillion effort thanks to a network of volunteers and corporate sponsors. This year, the project encourages everyone to get involved, to help overcome the latest effects of COVID-19, which have collapsed many vital employment opportunities and put additional strain on families, impacting on the work of most NPOs and charity organisations.

The success of the Santa Shoebox Project can be attributed to its personal nature: donors give gifts of essential items and treats to children whose names, ages and genders are known. The minimum eight required items are a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, one face cloth, sweets, a toy, school supplies and an outfit of clothing – all new and age-appropriate.

To prevent the potential spread of COVID-19, the packing of each shoebox needs to be managed sensibly, with regular sanitising of hands and with a face mask on all the time. It is advised that this should be done a minimum of three days prior to dropping off the shoeboxes.

If you are unable to do your own shopping, packing and drop off, a team of volunteers will be happy to do it for you with the convenient Virtual Santa Shoeboxes. These Virtual Santa Shoeboxes are packaged and distributed in exactly the same way and are most valuable in helping Santa Shoebox reach #beyondthemillion. Visit www.santashoebox.org.za to see how easy it is to start a pledge and bring a little Christmas cheer to a child who needs it most.

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