I volunteered at Santa’s Shoebox!

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.


16 thoughts on “I volunteered at Santa’s Shoebox!

  1. chanz1234

    Wow, the drop off on Saturday was AMAZING !!! I felt like I had walked into Santa’s workshop, with mountains of presents standing everywhere. I definately want to volunteer next year, even if it means taking leave from work.

  2. rbh

    yes they check every single box! loads of people take photos when dropping off their boxes. Don’t worry about your label/name etc, the boxes are packed neatly, and well, and if your label looked a bit loose somebody would have stuck it down before placing in the larger box 🙂

  3. chanz1234

    I was thinking of taking my camera along… Do they check every box? Now I am a bit worried that the name etc that I stuck on might fall off or get damaged when in the big box. Shame would be terrible if she gets a box with a name that is missing a letter or two

  4. anotherdayinparadise

    That sounds like quite a task, Ruth. I always imagined that each box would be neatly packed with only the right stuff, but obviously this isn’t the case. Well done for helping. xxx

  5. chanz1234

    I pledged my first shoebox this year and had so much fun putting it together. Gonna go drop it off tomorrow and excited to see all of them. Good on you for doing your bit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s