Imagine the face of a child who has never received a gift before, getting an entire box of things just for them. My heart aches at the thought. You know that I am ALL about the gift giving, it is without a doubt my strongest love language, and a huge part of why Christmas is my very favourite time of year. This love of giving is something that I want more than anything to instill into the deepest reaches of my little human’s being. And so I took her with me to shop for the goodies that will fill the four boxes we pledged for the Santa Shoebox Project this year.
My child is constantly being showered in gifts, because I just cannot get enough of the look on her face whenever she gets to open something chosen just for her. While I love that excitement and the understanding that this is a special thing, I want her to get the same rush of excitement and joy from seeing that expression on other people’s faces. While she already loves giving other kids all her toys whenever they visit, I can’t wait until she is a little older and has a deeper understanding of how giving things to others somehow leaves you feeling richer and fuller.
Just in case there is somebody out there who doesn’t know what the Santa Shoebox Project is, the short answer is – something you should without a doubt be involved in!! The longer answer is, it began in Cape Town with the Project collecting 180 shoeboxes for children in orphanages, children’s homes and care centres locally; this grew to 109,930 shoeboxes last year sent out to over 1000 facilities across South Africa and Namibia. Take a second to let that sit with you – almost 110,000 children who have so little, no family, nothing to call their own, lighting up when they are given a gift chosen JUST for them.
This is an element that sets the Santa Shoebox Project apart – the gifts put together really are put together with that specific child in mind. You get to choose whether you want to get gifts for a boy or a girl, whether you want to support a baby, a toddler, a tween or a teen; you get given their name and the size of their clothing; so when you are in the shops putting this special package together, you can almost see that face already. I resisted the urge to choose all the little children; knowing so many people love to shop for littles. The older children need love and thoughts and gifts just as much, if not more than the littles.
I decided to choose a range; and so we have put together boxes for 2 year old little girl Amila, 4 year old little boy Inoxolo, 6 year old girl Marika and 13 year old boy Kegan. There are clear lists of what these special children need and what is and isn’t allowed in the boxes; every child need a toothpaste, a toothbrush, a bar of soap, a wash cloth, an outfit of clothing, educational supplies, sweets and a toy. I desperately wanted to do more, and I am hoping to use my other businesses to do so for next year.
I know how busy us mommies are, and I understand that not everybody has the time to personally shop and wrap and put together the boxes themselves – I couldn’t have done it without my mom’s help. There are other ways you can help too. If you can’t pledge your own shoebox; you can buy a virtual shoebox (which is what I did last year), you can become a sponsor, you can make a financial donation and if money is simply too tight, there is huge value to add by volunteering your time.
There are only 2 more weeks before the dropoffs begin and the pledges are only at 64%, as opposed to 90% at exactly this time last year. Please get involved any way you can to help and get pledging with the Santa Shoebox Project! If you can’t do it yourself, speak to your company’s and your families and work together to make a difference in even just one little life!
Sending all the love xx