We never had huge amounts of money when I was a child, but I can’t remember a Christmas without at least one present….

Unfortunately, not all kids are that lucky. There are some children who have never experienced waking up on Christmas morning to a new CD player, or new toys, or even that new jersey that they really need for school.

This is why I make it my mission to support Santa Shoebox. They gather as many names of children who need Christmas gifts as they possibly can, put those names together on their site, let you pick a child that you want to help have a happy Christmas and they even help you out with a shopping list. I am terrible at giving gifts, so having the Santa Shoebox list takes that anxiety away from me.

Each child is given a shoebox, with items that are all similar and necessary; a toothbrush, soap, stationary, things that most of us take for granted.

You choose the child or children that you would like to buy a shoebox for. (If you are too busy to shop, you can simply donate an already packed shoebox). You then get the list of items and go shopping. This is what you fill your shoebox with:

Tooth brush
Bar of soap
Wash cloth
An outfit of clothing
Educational supplies
A toy

You can get tips and more HERE

Obviously, this should all be age appropriate, depending on your chosen child. You can get your shoebox from a Stor-age in your area, although they only give two per person.

Then you wrap your shoebox! Or decorate it, paint it, decoupage it, anything that makes it unique and festive!

And then, when you have your shoebox packed and ready, you drop it off at your nearest drop off point. And if you’re realllly looking for some holiday cheer, join us Santa Shoebox elves by volunteering at a drop off! I did it last year, at the CTICC in Cape Town and it really did feel like working in Santa’s workshop. So many boxes came in and so many people were helping, you can’t help but catch the happy energy. There are jobs for the teens, so take them with! And there’s something different for everyone’s abilities.

Last year I was a checker, we had to check that each box had the right amount of items, nothing inappropriate or broken etc. I left singing the list in my head.

This year I’ll be dragging along my 14-year old sister to be runner with me, we have to run the boxes from the scanners to the checkers to the packers (I’ll be getting in ALL my steps for the day). And my 16-year-old brother doesn’t know yet but he’s going to be a packer, so he’s going to pack the cartons of shoeboxes once they’ve been scanned and checked and are ready to go. It’s all a whole lot of fun, and you know that you are helping with something so much bigger than yourself. The organisers are also amazing people and really have so much energy and laughter to share.

Ok, so on marks, get set, GO and find your shoebox names and get registered to volunteer! To volunteer at the CTICC in Cape Town click HERE

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