Santa’s Shoebox Project unwraps holiday magic with virtual option


IN 2006, the Santa Shoebox Project began with a modest 180 shoeboxes in Cape Town, South Africa. Over the past 17 years, it has blossomed into an annual tradition of generosity and kindness, amassing an astonishing 1 152 587 shoebox donations. This heartwarming initiative now touches the lives of more than 1 000 recipient facilities annually, employing a network of more than 60 satellites across South Africa and Namibia.

At the heart of the Santa Shoebox Project’s remarkable success is its deeply personal touch. Donors lovingly contribute essential items and delightful treats to children whose names, ages, and genders are known. These shoeboxes consist of a minimum of eight items, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, a washcloth, sweets, a toy, school supplies, and a new, age-appropriate outfit of clothing.

The project’s enduring success is also due to the dedication of a vast network of volunteers who selflessly donate their time, energy, and expertise without financial compensation. Additionally, it relies on the generous support of corporate sponsors who provide monetary and pro bono assistance.

To ensure the magic of the holiday season reaches even more underprivileged children, the Santa Shoebox Project has initiated a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy. The campaign aims to raise R100 000 to create as many Virtual Santa Shoeboxes as possible.

The Virtual Santa Shoeboxes (VSS) are a new addition to the project, assembled by teams of volunteers. These boxes are then distributed to underprivileged children living in remote areas of South Africa, where access to holiday gifts is limited. The VSS contains the same eight essential items, which bring smiles and warmth to the young faces they reach. In addition to the essentials, the VSS may include additional sponsored items like books and teen hygiene products. These shoeboxes are meticulously packaged, delivered, and personally handed to the beneficiary child, making the experience all the more heartfelt and meaningful.

Even if your purchase arrives after the current campaign’s allocations and deliveries, rest assured your Virtual Santa Shoebox will be carried over to the following year, ensuring it ultimately reaches a child in need.

You can be a part of this holiday magic by sponsoring a Virtual Santa Shoebox for R450. Support the campaign on BackaBuddy at this link. If you are a South African resident and would like a tax-deductible receipt for your donation, please send your request to [email protected] with proof of your donation attached to your email. It’s worth noting BackaBuddy offers all registered non-profits raising funds on the platform a 0% platform fee, ensuring more of your funds directly benefit charities and their beneficiaries.

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