Santa’s Shoebox Project unwraps holiday magic

In 2006, the Santa Shoebox Project began with a modest 180 shoeboxes in Cape Town. Over the past 17 years, it has blossomed into an annual tradition of generosity and kindness, amassing an astonishing 1 152 587 shoebox donations.

This heartwarming initiative now touches the lives of more than 1 000 recipient facilities annually, employing a network of more than 60 satellites across South Africa and Namibia.

At the heart of the Santa Shoebox Project’s remarkable success is its deeply personal touch. Donors lovingly contribute essential items and delightful treats to children whose names, ages and genders are known. These shoeboxes consist of a minimum of eight items including a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, a washcloth, sweets, a toy, school supplies and a new, age-appropriate outfit of clothing.

The project’s enduring success is also due to the dedication of a vast network of volunteers who selflessly donate their time, energy and expertise without financial compensation. Additionally, it relies on the generous support of corporate sponsors that provide monetary and pro bono assistance.

Launching a crowdfunding campaign to create holiday magic

To ensure the magic of the holiday season reaches even more underprivileged children, the Santa Shoebox Project has initiated a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy. The campaign aims to raise R100 000 to create as many Virtual Santa Shoeboxes (VSSes) as possible.

The VSSes are a new addition to the project, assembled by devoted teams of volunteers. These boxes are then distributed to underprivileged children living in remote areas of South Africa, where access to holiday gifts is limited. The VSS contains the same eight essential items, which bring smiles and warmth to the young faces they reach. In addition to the essentials, the VSS may include additional sponsored items like books and teen hygiene products.

These shoeboxes are meticulously packaged, delivered and personally handed to the beneficiary child, making the experience all the more heartfelt and meaningful.

The impact of your gift

Even if your purchase arrives after the current campaign’s allocations and deliveries, rest assured your VSS will be carried over to the following year, ensuring it ultimately reaches a child in need. Beyond the joy these boxes bring, your support helps sustain this vital project, allowing it to continue uplifting and empowering underprivileged children throughout South Africa and Namibia.

How you can help

You can be a part of this holiday magic by sponsoring a Virtual Santa Shoebox for just R450. Join the Santa Shoebox Project in making this holiday season brighter for children in need. Purchase your VSS today and experience the joy of giving. Support the campaign on BackaBuddy.

If you’re a South African resident and would like a tax-deductible receipt for your donation, please send your request to with proof of your donation attached to your email.

It’s worth noting that BackaBuddy offers all registered non-profits raising funds on the platform a 0% platform fee, ensuring more of your funds directly benefit charities and their beneficiaries.

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