Buy a ‘virtual’ Santa Shoebox for a rural child

In its 12 years, Santa Shoebox children’s charity has touched the lives of 762 594 underprivileged children throughout South Africa and Namibia.

The goal for 2018 is
115 000 Shoeboxes and in 2019,
125 000, enabling the Project to reach its millionth child in 2019.

Many individuals spend their 67 minutes’ service on Mandela Day making up Santa Shoeboxes – decorating the box and filling it with the eight required items.

When pledging opens on Wednesday August 1, the donor can choose their child from the online list.

The Shoeboxes are then dropped off at collection points around the country and distributed in time to bring joy to that specific child at the end of the year.

This year, starting on Mandela Day, Wednesday July 18, the Santa Shoebox Project is offering its busy supporters and those living too far
from a drop -off point, the opportunity
to purchase a Virtual Santa Shoe-

Buying one of these Shoeboxes is the ideal solution for donors living overseas, and for those who can’t take time off to mark Mandela Day, but still want to contribute for a rural child in need.

The Virtual Santa Shoeboxes are made up on the donor’s behalf by teams of volunteers, and will be allocated to underprivileged children living in remote rural areas of South Africa.

Because of the lack of donors in such remote areas, these children would not receive a Santa Shoebox at all if it weren’t for the donors who buy our Virtual Santa Shoeboxes.

Every Virtual Santa Shoebox contains all eight required items – a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, a facecloth, sweets, a toy, school supplies and an outfit of clothing – as well as extra items, which include a drinking bottle and an activity booklet.

The items are packed into a cheerfully printed container, and affixed with a colourful label showing the child’s name.

Four thousand Virtual Santa Shoeboxes are on offer, costing R400 including handling.

Visit the Santa Shoebox Project website to purchase your Virtual Santa Shoeboxes –

This year, pledging will open a full month earlier than before – on Wednesday August 1, and donors are able to select children by name, living in their area, thus supporting their own larger community. (Generic Virtual Santa’s Shoeboxes are allocated on the donor’s behalf – no pledging is required.)

Chief executive officer and founder of the project, Irené Pieters, says: “This project has a life of its own. Every year brings change. We’ve heard our supporters – sponsors, beneficiaries and volunteers alike – and in response have given them the gift of time, by taking some of the rush out of the end of the year.”

The following items are required to complete a Santa Shoebox:

Standard sized shoebox or plastic container, colourfully decorated, with the lid wrapped separately QR coded label, which the donor will receive upon pledging online: Toothbrush, toothpaste, facecloth, soap, toy, outfit of clothing, school supplies and sweets. All items must be new, unused and age-appropriate. For more information, contact Debbie Zelezniak at