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March to one million

Online since 4.10.2017 • Filed under Feature • From Issue Fifteen - October to December 2017 page(s) 36
March to one million

Help Santa Shoebox march to reach one million children by 2019.

The Santa Shoebox (SSB) Project has launched its three-year goal to March to a Million, with the aim of reaching one million children by 2019. Pledging opened on September 1, 2017.

According to founder and CEO, Irené Pieters, in the last ten years the project has benefitted 652 180 children. To reach the one million mark the goal has increased to 110 000 Shoeboxes this year, 115 000 in 2018, and 125 000 in 2019. If each current donor enlists three friends to pledge a Shoebox per year, the onemillion goal will be within reach.

The SSB Project has now launched its Virtual Santa Shoebox. ‘We launched this option to accommodate donors with hectic schedules, for those abroad or who are too far from a drop-off points but would still love to contribute to making a difference in the lives of underprivileged children,’ Irené says.

The Virtual Santa Shoebox has convenience in mind. Donors visit the SSB website to pledge for a child selected by name, age and gender. They then choose the eight items to fill the box and to write a personal message that SSB will print onto a gift card for the child. Once the items are selected online, the SSB team packs them into decorated boxes and delivers them to children around the country. There’s also an option for a generic Virtual Santa Shoebox, which includes all the necessary contents and is available at a click of the mouse. A Virtual Santa Shoebox costs R400. Decorated Santa Shoeboxes need to be dropped off at central distribution points across the country on designated dates in October.

The following age appropriate and new items are required to complete a Santa Shoebox:

1. Standard sized shoebox or plastic container, box and lid wrapped separately

2. Barcoded label which the donor will receive upon pledging online

3. Toothbrush

4. Toothpaste

5. Facecloth

6. Soap

7. Toy

8. Outfit of clothing

9. School supplies

10. Sweets

The SSB Project is proud to be a beneficiary of The Little Optimist Trust, and will receive a free copy of The Little Optimist book for every copy purchased by a SSB supporter during the 2017 campaign. The book shares a can-do message of not being defined by your stature, by the label pasted upon you, or by your self-doubt. Copies of the book will be included in the cartons of Santa Shoeboxes being sent to children in South Africa and Namibia. For details about how to get involved or to find a drop-off point, visit

Issue Fifteen - October to December 2017

Issue Fifteen - October to December 2017

This article was featured on page 36 of Babys and Beyond Issue Fifteen - October to December 2017 .

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Meg Faure
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