‘March to a Million’ with the Santa Shoebox Project

2017-09-20 06:00
Santa Shoebox Project recipients with CEO and founder of the project, Irené Pieters.Photo:SUPPLIED

Santa Shoebox Project recipients with CEO and founder of the project, Irené Pieters.Photo:SUPPLIED

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ONE of South Africa’s best-loved charities, the Santa Shoebox Project, is currently in its 11th year and busy shaking things up.

Having exceeded 650 000 shoeboxes last year, the project is marching to reach 1 million underprivileged children by 2019.

The excitement will build until the millionth pledge is made for the millionth child, and the millionth shoebox is delivered by a donor to one of the more than 50 drop-off points around South Africa and Namibia.

“To have the magic million in sight is truly awe-inspiring,” said chief executive officer and founder of the project, Irené Pieters.

“When we collected 160 shoeboxes in a friend’s garage back in 2006, not in our wildest dreams did we envisage ‘Marching to a Million’.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our stakeholders over the last 10 years for supporting us in so many very generous ways. We literally could not have achieved this without you!”

For the first time in five years, the number of recipients in Port Elizabeth has increased as well from 2 200 to 3 000. For the past four years, Westering High School has been one of the Santa Shoebox Project’s most loyal donors.

“This year there is a bit of friendly interschool competition going on as Alexander Road High School has decided to also become part of the Santa Shoebox family.

“This will most definitely assist with our growth in the number of children receiving Santa Shoeboxes,” said Michelle Pagel, Santa Shoebox Project Port Elizabeth coordinator.

Donors can choose the child or children to whom they wish to gift a shoebox.

A “where to, how to” event will take place in the food court of Baywest Mall on September 30.

“We invite all mommies and daddies shopping to please bring their children to our Santa Shoebox info desk and let their little ones (and not so little ones) come and learn how to decorate a Santa Shoebox and hopefully become part of the Santa Shoebox family too,” Pagel said.

Baywest Mall will also act as drop-off point for the project on October 27 and 28 from 9am to 5pm.

Donors will turn in the wrapped and packed shoebox. Each box must contain a toothbrush, toothpaste, facecloth, soap, toy, outfit of clothing, school supplies and sweets.

To become a Santa Shoebox Project supporter, go towww.santashoebox.org.za. – REPORTER

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