“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan. Great words from a great man; pressing on the importance of giving. For all such givers in the Port Elizabeth area, this week sees the cocktail launch of the 2011 “Santa Shoebox Project”. This inspiring community initiative co-ordinates the donation, collection and distribution of personalized Christmas gifts to underprivileged children.
Dee Boehner, who also founded the Kidz2Kidz Trust, spearheaded the project in 2006 in Cape Town. In 2007, Irene Pieters was appointed as the project’s national co-ordinator. It has only grown from there, as groups of volunteers have hopped on board to help manage the project. With each progressive year the amount of boxes donated by members of the public has increased, with boxes reaching children all over South Africa and just last year it pushed beyond our borders to Namibia and Botswana! Adding to this accomplishment are the statistics; which show that the number of boxes donated by the public has grown from 180 in 2006 to 32 000 boxes donated last year! This year hopes to even exceed that limit …and I, for one, sure will be getting involved in spreading awareness of the project and appealing to people to donate! Anyone can donate – whether you are in a big city or a small rural town in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Each country has a group of volunteers who take the responsibility on themselves to co-ordinate and manage the project in that area. The event is happening this Thursday evening and it promises to be the start of a very successful 2011 campaign for this charity. I’m thrilled to be involved.