One million brighter Christmases

Santa Shoeboxes prepared for distribution to disadvantagedchildren during the coming festive season.

The Santa Shoebox Project, which opened for pledging on September 1, will be reaching its one millionth child this year, and invites donors to participate in the event.

The project, which presents thousands of personalised Christmas gifts to underprivileged children each year, is looking forward to announcing the millionth shoebox donated, the millionth shoebox dropped off and the millionth child to receive their shoebox.

“This year we will be celebrating the fact that we’ve made one million Christmas brighter for underprivileged children in South Africa.

We hope that donors will help us achieve this momentous milestone by getting involved and pledging many more shoeboxes this year”, says Santa Shoebox CEO, Deborah Zelezniak.

From September 1, lists of children’s names will be made available via the Santa Shoebox Project website

Donors create a supporter profile, and are granted access to the children’s first name, age, gender and clothing size, so they can create personalised gifts for their selected children.

Donors register for a drop off in their area, which takes place on specific dates in October and November, and create shoeboxes

for children living in and around their own community.

The required contents of a Santa Shoebox have been chosen

with the underprivileged child in mind:

● A toothbrush and toothpaste

● A facecloth and cake of soap

● School supplies

● An outfit of clothing

● Sweets

● A toy

All items must be new, unused and age-appropriate. Extra items

are most welcome, as long as they all fit into a medium-sized shoebox – the size of an adult running shoebox.

Extra items could include for example a reusable shopping bag in which the child can carry their shoebox home.

Shoeboxes should be cheerfully decorated, with the lid wrapped

separately to the box, allowing it to be opened without damaging the decorations.

In the interests of volunteer and beneficiary safety, donors are

asked to please sanitise their hands and wear a mask when packing their shoeboxes, and to do so a minimum of three days prior to dropping their shoeboxes off.

Virtual Santa Shoeboxes are offered to donors who are unable

to do their own shopping, packing and dropping off.

These are made by teams of volunteers, and allocated to children living in remote areas of South Africa.

Due to the lack of donors in rural areas, these children would

otherwise not receive a Santa Shoebox, and quite possibly no end-of year gift at all.

Donors interested in contributing to a Virtual Santa Shoebox can


All Santa Shoeboxes are trackable via the Santa Shoebox app

which is available from Google Play and the App Store.Donors

can track their shoebox from the moment they pledge to the magical moment the child receives their very own lovingly-created Santa Shoebox.

Later in the year, towards the end of October, supporters will be

invited to volunteer at their local drop off; receiving, checking and

packing Santa Shoeboxes.

Drop offs will be conducted in line with prevailing Covid-19


For detailed information about how to pledge and how to volunteer, visit for the the Santa Shoebox Project FAQs.