'Oh no it isn't'
I remember taking South African friends to the panto in Malvern, UK, it was hysterical watching them, watching the panto, they didn't have a clue what was going on.
It feels like Christmas has been and gone for me, I've been knee deep in shoeboxes, wrapped and decorated for christmas, but it's far from over yet, there are the CELEBRATION DAYS ahead of us all where we hand out the boxes that have been lovingly put together by some amazing people, received, checked, scanned and packed by some amazing volunteers and wonderful committee members who have given up their time, days off work and not to mention finances when we've run short of items, such as zip lock bags and elastic bands and fillers for boxes that didn't quite cover the requirements. They've given up space in their houses, garages and cellars to store extras for next year, visited townships and facilities, collected names of over 4,ooo children and mostly copied by hand off basic registers then entered onto the website to allow the donors to pick the name, age and sex of a child to donate to.
The Shoebox project has been a life saver for me. I got involved last year after asking twitter for help finding an organisation in South Africa that delivers gifts to under prividleged children. After all I'd been sending shoeboxes from the UK for years. I've met some fantastic people who have been amazing to work with, supportive and proving to be very good friends. The Shoebox project got me out the house, gave me a purpose and a new direction.
Just what is a CELEBRATION DAY and what more can you do to help?
From mid November until Christmas the committe members and other volunteers will be delivering boxes along with Laser Logistics to more than 35 facilities in the Pretoria area. Throughout the whole of South Africa there are 100,000 shoe boxes to be delivered.
Prior to that we will be bagging up pop corn, crisps and sweets, baking cakes etc to take along to the Celebration Days and organise a little party when we will hand out the Christmas Shoeboxes.
What we would like from you now is to know if anyone would like to make some food donations, juices, papercups, food bags, sweets, crisps etc for our Celebration days.
There will be pictures once permission has been obtained from the relevant facilites as some of them are places of safety or individual children are protected by court orders, there will be more blogs, more requests for donations.
I'm looking forward to the Celebration days, it is a priviledge to be involved with Santa Shoebox, to have made some wonderful friends from the Pretoria committee who have been an enormous support to me and my family during a very difficult year with the death of family members, my fathers heart attack and the amazing recovery of my nephew after he was critically injured at school in the UK this month after a wall collapsed on him.
My wish list for Christmas, should you still be reading and feeling in a generous mood is for Zip lock bags, elastic bands and clothing and toys for 16-18 year old boys and under 2's boys for next years appeal.
Huge thanks to Mum, Mother in Law and Amanda in Saudi (formally South Africa, originally the UK) for their donations of Shoeboxes and fillers.
Here are some photos of the facilities and the children receiving their shoeboxes at the Celebration days. There are more to come, so pop back here in December.