I’ve had quite a fun and busy week. My friend and I volunteered to work at the Santa’s shoebox charity this past Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. For those not in the know, Shoebox is a charity that provides a box full of presents/toiletries/clothes/educational items to the underprivileged children in our communities.
And as the name says, the idea is to fill a shoebox, wrap it, and leave the lid loose, but secure the lid and box with an elastic band. Well this year they managed to receive 70000 pledges of boxes, all of which needed to be dropped off this week, at different points. My friend and I went to the drop off point closest to us – Constantia – where we helped receive in some of the 5000 boxes allocated to that area.
Now this drop off lark is not for the feint hearted. Tuesday it was quite a steady pace of delivery, but Wednesday, being the last day in our area to drop off, Cape Town does what it does best, and came charging in at the last minute, inundating us with boxes upon boxes, upon boxes. You cannot believe the pace we were working out. I didn’t sit down or stop for 6 hours flat. I was to be found running between 3 tables at one stage!
My job was to check every box that arrived at my table(s) to ensure all the requested items were in the box, remove scissors and guns, repack and then pack the smaller box into a large storage box. Once the storage box was full, I would seal it up, push it out the way, get a new one, label it and carry on. Sounds easy….NOT! My goodness the amount of stuff that people put in the boxes was astonishing, so much you could hardly close the box up, and I found myself wrestling with bows and ribbons and oversized teddies that refused to stay put.
Several times I almost fell in the larger storage boxes, and as for pushing the full ones out the way, well really they were so heavy it was like moving an elephant. And elastic bands, goodness, I have never seen so many varieties of bands in my life. There were thick ones, thin ones, coloured ones, hastily constructed ones, and bands just about to shred. And every single box had to have these bands removed for checking and then replaced for storage, they were pinging around the room and breaking by the dozen.
But you know what, it was great fun and I will be back again next year to do the same again. The sore feet and even painful thumbs at the end of it was well worth every minute of my time there.
Well done Santa’s Shoebox, you get a fat pat on the back from me.