Nicola Wicks (right), regional coordinator of the Santa Shoebox Project, and volunteer Thuli Rabe make sure needy children also have an exciting Christmas! Photo: Supplied.
KNYSNA NEWS - Kind-hearted people who would like to make a less fortunate child happy this Christmas better hurry because there is only tomorrow and Saturday left to deliver presents to the Santa Shoebox Project.
The Santa Shoebox Project originated in Cape Town and has grown in leaps and bounds, with the number of Santa Shoeboxes growing from a humble 180 boxes in 2006 to an astounding 109 930 in 2014. The boxes are distributed to more than 1 000 recipient facilities, through more than 60 satellites around South Africa and Namibia.
Regional coordinator, Nicola Wicks, said on Tuesday, October 27 that the success of the project can largely be attributed to its personal nature.
“Donors give gifts to children whose names, ages and genders are known,” she said Wicks, who has been a volunteer for this worthy project for approximately four years, goes out every year to find poverty-stricken children at places such as schools, home-based places of child-care, crèches and children’s homes, “but I don’t just go to registered places; I try to find those children who really are impoverished”, she said. Wicks explained that many of these kids have never received Christmas presents in their lives before. This year, Wicks with the help of the community would like to raise 2 000 boxes, “which will make many happy little and big hearts so happy”, she said.
Wicks said that she was astounded by the generosity of the residents of Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Sedgefield. “I’m absolutely blown-away. Their passion, their love ... what they’ve done filling those boxes ...”
Wicks added that the staff at Knysna Municipality’s have also been pledging gift boxes as well as the Knysna SAPS. “They are the first police force to have pledged boxes which will go to two local crèches,” she said.
Wicks said, her biggest thank you, must go to Oakhill School who has already donated 540 boxes and the effort is continuing. "The parents and children there are incredible,” she exclaimed.
Readers who would like to sponsor a shoebox filled with goodies should visit the project’s website at www.santashoebox.co.za. There they will find detailed guidelines for packing their boxes and they get to select what age and what gender the box should go to.
“And then we follow the box,” Wicks said. They do the hand-overs themselves and take photos of the happy event.
Boxes will be collected on Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31 between 09:00 and 14:00 at the following venues: Knysna - The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa at 36 Sawtooth Lane, Thesen Island. Contact person: Nicola Wicks (082 468 6678 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Plettenberg Bay - The Plettenberg Bay Community Hall in Hanois Link Street. Contact person: Jinny Price (078 328 1729 or email@example.com).
Sedgefield - Specialist Broker Services (SBS) at 67 Main Road. Contact person: Cecilia van Heerden (083 693 9479 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
ARTICLE: INGRID LEHMENSICH-BOTHA, KNYSNA-PLETT HERALD - CORRESPONDENT
'We bring you the latest Knysna, Garden Route news'