Every year, hundreds of children in the Bloemfontein area go without a gift at Christmastime and so the Shoebox Gift Project decided to try to bring a bit of cheer.Shoeboxes (these are perfect gift size, ensuring all children receive the same amount) are packed and given to up to 300 children in November each year. The organisers work with the Solidariteit Helpende Hand community organisation to ensure that the boxes are distributed correctly and only to children in need.The content of the shoeboxes is made up of age-appropriate items and is checked before being handed over. Due to tough economic circumstances, the organisers have decided to reduce the number of required items in each box and appeal to givers to not overload their boxes, to ensure it is easier for all to give.Each donator will be given a name and the age of the child who will receive the box.Each box should include these items: toothpaste and toothbrush; bar of soap and washcloth; sweets (one packet); item of clothing (one item, like a T-shirt, shorts or a skirt); a toy or special gift (only one); and educational supplies (only three or four items off the list of appropriate items). Appropriate items to include in a gift box are listed accordingly: Stationery (choose three or four) Plastic apron, plastic pencils, triangular pencils, 24-piece or 36-piece or 48-piece puzzle, pencil or wax crayons, blunt-nose scissors, coloured paper, glue sticks, white craft glue, lunch-box and water bottle, blank-page A5 book for colouring or drawing, miniature whiteboard with a pen (erasable), blackboard with chalk, 100-piece puzzle, HB pencils, pencil bag, metal sharpener, denim chair bag, plastic sleeves, ruler, eraser, South African Oxford School Dictionary, oil pastels, kokis, calculator, ball-point pens and highlighters, homework diary, geometry set. Toys (choose one or two) Soft toy, tennis ball, finger puppet, yo-yo, building blocks, toy truck or car, doll, dress-up clothes, soft ball. Hygiene items Toothbrush and toothpaste, bar of wrapped soap and washcloth, hairbrush, comb, hair clips, roll-on deodorant or spray, talcum powder, sanitary towels (for teens). Clothing items in all sizes T-shirt, shorts, dress, skirt, pyjamas, gloves, scarf, sunglasses, cap, hat, bangles, necklaces, clip-on earrings, make-up or hair accessories, underwear, socks. Sugar and spice (only one) Sweets – preferably soft sweets (sell-by date to be no later than March 2018) Baby box (ideas) Barrier cream or talcum powder, baby soap, item of clothing, bath towel or baby blanket, soft toy, toy or rattle, wipes, cream, bath items. Teenage box (ideas) Cap, sunglasses, toiletries, nail polish, make-up, deodorant, diaries, hair products. Boxes are distributed at the end of November and beginning of December. Call Ilse Santos on 082-776-1449 or Ailsa Uys on 072-446-4620 before the end of November to donate a shoebox or for more information.