Santa Shoebox Project

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About the Santa Shoebox Project:

The Santa Shoebox Project originated in Cape Town in 2006 with a humble 180 shoeboxes. In 16 years, it has grown in leaps and bounds, with the number of Santa Shoeboxes donated reaching a total of 1 077 289. The shoeboxes are distributed to more than 1000 recipient facilities each year, through more than 60 satellites around South Africa and Namibia. The success of the Project can largely be attributed to its personal nature – donors give gifts of essential items and treats to children whose names, ages and genders are known. The project is supported by an extensive network of volunteers across South Africa and Namibia – kind-hearted people who give freely of their time, energy and expertise without remuneration. It also relies on the generous backing of various corporate sponsors pledging monetary or pro bono support. Many companies, involving their staff members pledge Santa Shoeboxes as part of their Corporate Social Investment programmes.

There are 3 initiatives within the Project:

Traditional Shoebox

From 01 September each year, Santa Shoebox donors choose their beneficiary child/ren by name, age and gender and are given the child’s clothing size. Each personalised shoebox reaches the very child for whom it was pledged. Using the Santa Shoebox app, donors are able to track their shoebox from the moment it is pledged to the magical moment it is handed to the child.  

Virtual Shoebox

These shoeboxes are purchased online by donors and are available year-round, meeting the needs of donors who live too far from drop-off points, are too busy to shop or are perhaps Covid-vulnerable. Components are chosen by the donor on the Santa Shoebox website, the shoeboxes are packed by the Santa Shoebox Team and delivered to children attending far-flung rural facilities. A Virtual Santa Shoebox contains the eight specified items, as well as additional items, such as Book Dash books and SUBZ reusable sanitary wear. A Virtual Santa Shoebox costs R450 plus an optional delivery fee of R30.

SSB Legacy

All Santa Shoebox Project operating costs are covered by corporate sponsors. Privately donated funds have been accruing under the SSB Legacy Fund which are now being used to bring permanent change to the lives of Santa Shoebox beneficiary children and the impoverished communities in which they live.

2022 Theme and Key Messaging:

The Santa Shoebox 2022 theme is #ShareTheLove. Under this theme, donors are encouraged to duplicate an item in their box which will enable the beneficiary child to gift that item to a loved one of their own. This empowers the child while teaching them The Joy of Giving – the mantra of the Santa Shoebox Project. The rationale behind this stemmed from the realisation that underprivileged children are usually not seen as powerful. All too often, these children are recipients of hand-me-downs and second-hand items that no one else wants. This is exactly the opposite of Santa Shoeboxes’ ethos. An underprivileged child has the same potential, the same value and the same full, layered life that a child of privilege does. They simply aren’t given the same opportunities. ‘Share the Love’ is about empowering that child.

The Santa Shoebox Project encourages South Africans to #ShareTheLove by donating personalised gifts of essential items and treats that are distributed to underprivileged children throughout South Africa and Namibia at the end of each year. All items are required to be new, unused and age appropriate. The duplicate item will be identified by a #ShareTheLove sticker applied at Drop Off. Pledges open to the public on 1 September, and team pledges of more than 20 Shoeboxes on 1 August each year. Virtual Santa Shoeboxes are available all year round.


1. Why does pledging open on 1 September if Santa Shoeboxes are Christmas gifts?
As you can imagine, handing tens of thousands of personalised Shoeboxes to the precise children for whom they were pledged, takes some doing! While our Teams of Volunteers are indeed super-heroes, to achieve that in one day – or even one month – would be impossible. Instead, the Project runs on an annual timeline ensuring that each beneficiary child receives their Shoebox before schools break up for the holidays, before our sponsors are immersed in their all-important end-of-year business, and before our donors are focused on their own families. This Project is all about the Christmas spirit – sharing the joy of giving!

2. How does the individual pledge work?
As an individual Donor, from 01 September each year, you are able to make a maximum of 20 pledges. If you’d like to pledge more, please create a Team Pledge.

3. How does a Team Pledge work?
As a Donor, you are able to create a Team Pledge. A team is any group of people who require more than 20 pledges. Our Team Pledge Help Desk opens on 01 August –

For more FAQs, please CLICK HERE.

  • Your checklist should consist of the minimum 8 requirements for every Santa Shoebox.
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Soap
    • Facecloth
    • School supplies
    • Toy
    • Sweets
    • An outfit of clothing – all new, unused and age-appropriate.

Here is an example of a SantaShoebox that Hudson packed.

SSB Social Media details:

A big thank you to the SSB sponsors:  









Check out SantaShoebox on Instagram ; Facebook; Twitter

Disclaimer: Press release provided by Hook line sinker

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