Santa Shoe box hosts uMhlanga drop this weekend

CHILDREN’S charity, the Santa Shoebox Project, now in its 15th year, celebrated a milestone as they reached their one millionth pledge last month.

With about 30 000 children still to reach, they have urged supporters to keep on pledging.

The annual campaign which reaches 100 000 children each year, calls on the community to create Christmas gifts for children by filling a shoebox with a list of items that are age appropriate.

The public can make pledges to the project online, selecting children living in and around their community by name, age, gender and clothing size.

The drop off weekend at The Gateway Theatre of Shopping in uMhlanga will be held on Friday, 6 November and Saturday, 7 November from 8am until 4pm.

Shoe boxes can be delivered to Shop No. F305A, best accessed from Entrance 2, via Parkade G.’

Irené Pieters, founder of the Santa Shoebox Project said: “When Dee Boehner, Cecilia Gronwall and I started out we did not plan to reach a million children. We had fun and we were making a difference – a true recipe for success. No-one could possibly have imagined how this project would expand into the lives of so many people. I wish to thank all our supporters from 2006 until today – donors, sponsors, volunteers and caregivers alike- for making it possible for one million underprivileged children to receive their very own Santa Shoebox – uplifting and inspiring every single one with loving generosity.”

To create a shoe-box gift, participants will need a standard-sized shoe box or plastic container, colourfully decorated, with the lid wrapped separately, and a coded label, which will be emailed to the donor upon pledging online.

Participants will then need to fill their box with a list of items including: a toothbrush, toothpaste, facecloth, soap, toy, outfit of clothing, school supplies and sweets. All items must be new, unused and age-appropriate.

Donors are asked to 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 unable to do their own shopping.

These are made by teams of volunteers, and allocated to children living in remote areas of South Africa. All Santa Shoeboxes are traceable via the Santa Shoebox App which is available from Google Play and the App Store.

Donors can track their shoe box from the moment they pledge to the moment the child receives their gift. To pledge a shoe-box gift, visit the website: For more information, contact the project liaison at