A couple of people have asked if their shoe box for Africa ever actually reaches its destination and what happens if there aren't enough boxes for all the children.
I never really gave it much thought when we took part in operation Christmas child, the UK scheme. There are 5 children, 4 boys and 1 girl and the children made a box for a child the same age and sex as themselves and the boxes were dropped at school or the local library
About 6 weeks ago I tweeted to ask 'Do they do shoe boxes for Africa, in Africa?' and I was given a link for @santashoebox
I attended a training session last night to prepare for the drop off days next week that I've volunteered to assist with and found why this scheme came to being and what happens to the boxes.
I can't guarantee what happens to the boxes from the UK, but I can tell you what happens to the ones here.
@santashoebox is part of www.kidztokidz.co.za
Kidz2Kidz Trust achieves it's Vision as a liason organization between the donors and the recipients by acting as a Facilitator between the various parties concerned ensuring that:
•Projects are initiated to benefit needy Children
•Children learn the"art of giving" through their involvement in the various projects run by the Kidz2Kidz organization
•Donations received are distributed to the needy communities
•An abundance of giving is created through the Kidz2Kidz Santa Shoebox Project
•Communities are built and empowered through fundraising and skills development.
@santashoebox has 70,000 boxes pledge to children in South Africa, these children are abused, abandoned and neglected. Various organisations are requested to submit the names, ages and sex of all children in their care, a child here is up to the age of 21. these children are in hospitals, interim care homes, foster care and from depriaved areas of society.
To ensure all children receive a box in an organisation, as names and numbers are collected in advance, generic shoe boxes are also requested. This ensures all children in an organisation receive a box and also caters for waifs and strays that turn up on the day from neighbouring areas, ensuring no one is left out.
So what about unsuitable items that are put in the box, these are either distributed to more appropriate facilities, ie bibles are donated to local church groups, battery operated toys, mobiles are sold and the funds ploughed back into the scheme to purchase clothing or toys more suitable to the child's age, and unsuitable food such as chocolates which melt and crisps, biscuits that get crushed are given out on 'Celebration Day' when the boxes are distributed.
So everything is used, every child gets a box within an organisation and the boxes go directly to where they are needed.
Don't worry about the boxes that have extra stuff in it, that child does has a little bit more.
If you are doing shoe boxes this year, here's a list of do's and don'ts and remember the older child too..there's a shortage of donations for boys aged 15+
Remember you don't have to spend a fortune, this scheme came about as a way for children to share and to give surplus and unwanted items to others less fortunate.
Bar of soap
Educational equipment (colouring book, crayons)
Deodorant (not sprays, can trigger asthma)
Toy (age appropriate, ie marbles and 2 year olds don't mix, no symbols or war, toy soldiers, guns, knives)
Sweets (again age appropriate, no chocolate, biscuits, crisps, they melt and get crushed)
Item of clothing (remember it's Summer in Africa at Christmas time)
NO LIQUIDS (they leak they not only spoil the contents of one box, but the others around it)