Thanks to the support of over a thousands individuals, the Santa Shoebox Project has reached its goal again this year. Collecting just under 100 000 gifts for children at over 900 orphanages, crèches and care centres across South Africa, its vision of people connecting through the 'Joy of Giving' has been achieved.
The emphasis this year was on extending the Santa Shoebox support network to small towns and farming communities in the country, and according to National Coordinator Irene' Pieters, 70% of the new facilities added to the distribution network this year, are based in the outlying areas of cities and towns across South Africa.
Major sponsors this year included Laser Logistics, PEP, Aspire Solutions, Fairheads Trust, Bulk SMS, Mpact, and King James to name a few, as well as FIVESTAR PR, the agency that provides PR services for the project on a pro bono basis.
Ending 2012 on a high note
The 2012 project ended on a high note at the end of November, when the final Santa Shoebox Celebrations took place at homes and care centres in nine provinces, making thousands of little hearts beat faster with joy. Now Pieters and her team are looking ahead to 2013, and will be focusing on expanding their support to include even more centres and schools in the rural areas, where many children have never before received a gift at Christmas time.
Says Pieters: 'We are blessed to be supported by so many thousands of people, who made this year's target possible. Recognition and heartfelt thanks is also due to the dedicated volunteer co-ordinators in each area, who work alongside us to make the project a success each year. We simply couldn't do it without them.'
More about the Santa Shoebox Project
With 'share the joy of giving' as the essence of the project, the Santa Shoebox Project offers people from all walks of life the chance to participate in a profoundly valuable and personal experience, enriching the lives of those doing the giving and those on the receiving end. Donors are encouraged to involve their own children in the process of personally selecting a child from one of the centres or homes, and putting together his or her individualised, age appropriate Santa Shoebox gift. Uniquely, this means each participant knows the first name, age, gender and care institution of the child, and it is this personal touch that endears the project to adults and children from all walks of life.