Gateway Theatre of Shopping is opening its heart and doors to the Santa Shoebox Project in support of underprivileged and socially vulnerable children throughout South Africa and Namibia.
In its sixteenth year, the Santa Shoebox Project has distributed over 1-million personalised boxes of love, compassion and joy to children in cities and rural areas.
Over the years, the NGO has identified eight items that should be included in each box. These are: a toothbrush, toothpaste, an outfit of clothing, facecloth, soap, school supplies, a toy and sweets. All items should be new and age-appropriate.
“It’s a privilege for us to play a part in this project,” says Michelle Shelley, Gateway Theatre of Shopping Marketing Manager. “As a venue partner, we’re encouraging Gateway visitors to drop off their boxes next to Ocean Basket in the Palm Court between the 4th and 6th of November,” she says.
Before this intense collection weekend, the Info Desk will be collecting boxes on behalf of the Project from 1 October to 3 November.
Last year just over 1 600 shoeboxes were pledged for Umhlanga and this year the charity hopes to increase this number.
How to get involved
Start by registering on the Santa Shoebox Project website www.santashoebox.org.za and create a donor profile. Donors are given access to lists of beneficiary children living in and around their area. Donors select a child to pledge to, by their name, age and gender. A QR-coded label is generated, and this must be secured to the shoebox to ensure that it makes the journey to the intended child. The shoebox then can be tracked via an App.
The Santa Shoebox Project had humble beginnings with the personalised decorated traditional shoebox format. Making use of technology, the project now connects donors and children via an app and includes an option for virtual shoebox donations. All costs of the organisation are covered by corporate donations and an extended Legacy Project supports charity for children across the country.