Santa Shoebox hopes to collect4 192 gifts in KZN

2011-09-01 00:00

THE Kidz2Kidz Santa Shoebox Project hopes to collect 4 192 Christmas gifts for underprivileged children in KwaZulu-Natal and have increased their satellite offices in the province from one to six where the presents can be dropped off.

This initiative that started five years ago in Cape Town has become a national phenomenon that has escalated from 600 boxes to 36 000 boxes in 2010.

The organisation said its target this year is 70 000 Santa Shoeboxes to be distributed nationwide to underprivileged children.

It’s simple, donors need to get an empty shoebox, decorate it and then fill it up with practical necessities — toothpaste and toothbrush, a bar of soap and face cloth, item of clothing, educational supply, sweets and a toy.

There are six satellites offices in KZN where donors can take their gifts in Pietermaritzburg, Richards Bay, Umhlanga, Durban Central, Hillcrest and Port Shepstone.

Santa Shoebox Project national co-ordinator Irenè Pieters told The Witness that the fact the donor knows the child’s name, age, gender and even institution or school the child attends, makes this project very unique.

Pieters said, “There is an emotional bond between the donor and recipient as soon as that name request has been done.

“This project not only touches the lives of thousands of children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, but teaches us and our children the joy of giving. It is also most rewarding to know exactly where your gifts are going.”

A recipient wrote a note to Santa Shoebox Project that read, “I’m so glad for my present. Normally Xmas is just another day for us as a family.”

The recipients range from newborns to teenagers and a donor can choose a name from children’s home, crèche or educare centre and need to go online to register. Most drop-off times run from October 20 until November 4.

Go to www.santashoebox.co.za to register your details on September 1 and to check out the drop-off zones in your area and make a child’s Christmas one to remember.

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