The Santa Shoebox Project is one of the country's most beloved charities, which explains why it's distributed more than 850,000 Christmas gift boxes to children throughout South Africa, and Namibia, since its inception.
CEO Debbie Zelezniak says even in tough economic times it's viable because people know how it works and are able to plan, for instance taking advantage of back-to-school sales already at the beginning of a year.
Another drawcard is that donors create their own personalised box of goodies for a specific child which includes essential items as well as treats - toiletries, toys, stationery and clothing.
The love that goes into these boxes (continuing into our 14th year) never ceases to blow us away.— Debbie Zelezniak, CEO - Santa Shoebox Project
We see hand-embroidered facecloths, we see handmade clothing, we see school supplies that set a child up for a year of education.— Debbie Zelezniak, CEO - Santa Shoebox Project
Their system also allows for gifting collaboration, which makes anything possible she says.
If one person can't get an entire box together they can collaborate and create an absolute abundance for these children who would otherwise truly receive nothing at Christmas because of impoverished situations, child-headed households, remote rural villages that don't have an associated donor base...— Debbie Zelezniak, CEO - Santa Shoebox Project
Visit the website to find out more about contributing a Santa Shoebox this season.
Listen to the conversation here:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'The love that goes into Santa Shoeboxes keeps blowing us away'