Popular FAQs

In order of popularity here are the answers to your frequently asked questions:

Beneficiaries

  1. My organisation would like to apply to receive Santa Shoeboxes.
    The application process was open from 4 – 26 April 2017. Please Register or Login  on our Website during this period, under your profile tick – ‘our facility needs boxes’ – save and complete the application form under the Facilities tab.

Pledging - opens 1 September

  1. When and how can I start pledging?
    Pledging opens on 1 September.  Login with your registered email address / cell number and password used during registration.   Select the pledging tab and follow the prompts.

  2. When does pledging close?
    Pledging closes on the day before the Drop Off starts or as and when the public has pledged all the names. The number of pledges available at each Drop Off are dependent on the available resources in the area.


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


  4. 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.
    Step 1 – Login, select the pledges tab and follow the guidelines to set up a team.   (Team members will receive an email to ask them to register/login)
    Step 2 – Pledge the children’s names – a maximum of 50 pledges can be saved at a time.
    Step 3 – Go to the Team Tab and allocate pledges to your team members. (Team members must login to see which child has been allocated to them and to access their label(s)).   If you don’t allocate pledges to Team members you will need to download and distribute all the labels and supporting documentation.
    Step 4 – Ensure that as a team you have packed your shoeboxes correctly (see How to Pack a Shoebox), all are accounted for and delivered on time.   You are most welcome to deliver your shoeboxes all together, take some team photos and see the project in action.

    If you’d like to help out for a few hours at the Drop Off please contact your local coordinator and they’ll happily put you to work.


  5. How can I pledge a Virtual Shoebox? (opens 1 September)
    Virtual Shoeboxes are available to purchase via the Santa Shoebox Project website from 01 September. Courtesy of an innovative partnership with Pick ’n Pay, donors who live too far from Santa Shoebox Drop Off points are able to buy a Virtual Shoebox, which Pick ’n Pay will pack and deliver to Drop Offs in Cape Town and Johannesburg, for delivery to a beneficiary child. Virtual Shoeboxes cannot be pledged for specific children and are used to ensure that every named child on the beneficiary list receives a Santa Shoebox.


  6. Why can I no longer select children from a specific facility?
    The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 (as amended by the Children’s Amendment Act 41 of 2007) and the associated Regulations came into force on 1 April 2010 to respect, promote, protect and fulfill children’s constitutional rights. The Santa Shoebox Project upholds the rights of children, ensuring that active steps are taken to prevent third parties from interfering with and violating those rights. To protect the identity of the recipient children, we do not display a list of children’s names in direct association with the name of a facility in a public domain such as our website. This ensures that no member of the public will gain access to a child through our website. We are aware that many of our donors would like to continue to support the same facilities year after year, and we realise the necessary change to the pledging process may create some disappointment. We also know that you will support any policy that keeps our kids safe from potential harm.


  7. My company/organisation would like to participate as part of our CSI initiative.
    Such a wonderful idea! Please ask each colleague to register as a donor and make his/her own pledge. Alternatively, you can designate a minimum of 3 co-workers to govern a Team Pledge.  One of the 3 is required to register, login and create the Team Pledge which includes the additional 2 members’ contact details. Please see FAQ – How does a Team Pledge work for more guidance.


  8. What is an extra box and what are they used for?
    An extra Shoebox is a “no-name” Shoebox where the donor chooses a child by age and gender. These Shoeboxes play a very important role in the success of our Project by making up for “no show” boxes, and for ensuring that there are Shoeboxes for the new children who have joined the Facility from the time the name list was handed in, earlier in the year. The content requirements of the extra Shoeboxes are exactly the same as for the named children. Donors who pledge extra shoeboxes are Super Heroes!

About the Santa Shoebox

  1. To what value should my box contents be?
    The monetary value of the box depends on the age of the child and where the shopping is done. As long as the box contains ALL 8 required items (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, washcloth, educational supplies, outfit of clothing, sweets and a toy), it can cost anything from R250 upwards.

  2. Must the Santa Shoebox contain ALL the required items?
    Yes, all 8 required items (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, washcloth, educational supplies, outfit of clothing, sweets and a toy) must be included. Please refer to FAQ How to Pack a Shoebox for more information. When the Shoeboxes are handed out to the children, it would be heartbreaking to see little eyes looking at everyone else’s filled boxes when he/she only received a packet of sweets in theirs. Extra bits and bobs over and above the required items are welcome, as long as all the items fit into a medium sized box.


  3. I would like to pack chocolate and blow bubbles in my box?
    Chocolate, blow bubbles and all other liquids must be placed in a sealed Ziplock bag, to prevent possible spoiling of the Shoebox – chocolate may melt, containers may break and liquids may spill. Please refer to FAQ How to pack a Shoebox for more information.


  4. What size Shoebox can I use?
    A medium size box, 20 x 34 x 11cm, is recommended. This is the size box of an adult running shoe. Any box larger than this impacts on the packing capacity of the cartons we use to store and deliver the Shoeboxes. The bigger the Shoeboxes, the more cartons are needed, and the more expensive the process becomes. Any boxes which are too large (e.g. boot boxes) might have to be repacked into smaller boxes at the Drop Off. You’d have to be a magician to pack all the required items into a much smaller box! Flip-top boxes are quite acceptable. Paper ream boxes are ideal, provided the sides have been cut down to a maximum height of 15cm. Decorative gift boxes bought at retail stores are sometimes square in shape, and deeper. These are acceptable, provided they are of a medium size. The same applies to plastic containers.


  5. Why can I not wrap my box like a gift?
    Boxes and their lids be covered separately, rather than ‘wrapped’, so that the Shoeboxes can be opened and closed easily, without ruining the wrapping. Children keep the Shoeboxes as a Keepsake Box – if they rip off the wrapping paper, the box underneath is unattractive and there is litter as a result of the ripped off wrapping paper. In addition, if the label has been ripped off with the paper, the gift boxes might get mixed up. Also, the boxes need to be unsealed and easily re-sealable, to facilitate the checking process that takes place at the Drop Off venues.


  6. Why are boxes checked at the Drop Off?
    Each and every box that Santa Shoebox receives on behalf of the recipient children needs to be checked. Our trained volunteers at Drop Off do a swift routine inspection of each box to ensure compliance. Under no circumstances are any items removed from boxes, unless they are undesirable of nature; read more about this under FAQs – How to Pack a Shoebox. Any required items that have been omitted from the box, need to be included, so that no child receiving a Shoebox feels less fortunate. We rely on the generous donations of items and funds from the public and our sponsors to purchase these items. It is NOT acceptable to omit items from the required list.


  7. What is an extra box and what are they used for?
    An extra Shoebox is a “no-name” Shoebox where the donor chooses a child by age and gender. These Shoeboxes play a very important role in the success of our Project by making up for “no show” boxes, and for ensuring that there are Shoeboxes for the new children who have joined the Facility from the time the name list was handed in, earlier in the year. The content requirements of the extra Shoeboxes are exactly the same as for the named children. Donors who pledge extra shoeboxes are Super Heroes!

Drop Off

Drop Off venues and dates are dependent on sponsors and available Volunteer teams, both of which are negotiated at the beginning of each year.

  1. Where and when do I drop my box off?
    When you Register as a Supporter, you will be asked to identify your most convenient Drop Off point, which is where your Santa Shoebox MUST be delivered. Please ensure that you select a point that is convenient and that you can get to the Drop Off point on the allocated dates.

  2. How do I change my Drop Off?
    Please login with the email address or cell number and password you used during registration.  On the top right of your profile click on the edit profile link, where you can update all your details. Submit to save your changes then logout on the top right.


  3. Why is there no Drop Off in my area?
    Drop Offs are dependent on Santa Shoebox volunteer resources in an area. Drop Offs are linked to teams of Santa Shoebox volunteers who administer the facility application process which takes place between February and April. Because of this, our Drop Offs have already been finalised for the year. If you would like a Drop Off in your area please consider signing up as a Coordinator for next year.

    To sign up as a Satellite Coordinator Login with the email address or cell number and password you used during registration.  On the top right of your profile click on the edit profile link. Select the Supporter Tab and click on the Volunteer block to complete your details. Submit to save your changes then logout on the top right.   A member of the SSB team will be in contact with you.


  4. Will there be an alternative Drop Off date and venue?
    Unfortunately not. At the Drop Off, Santa Shoeboxes are checked and packed into large cartons according to facility. The cartons are then collected, stored, distributed and handed out. There is no way for your late box to catch up with this process. Any box not delivered within the stipulated Drop Off time, will be considered a “no show”.


  5. What happens if I miss my Drop Off date or forget to make my box?
    A pledge is a promise – do not break your promise to the beneficiary child. Imagine a group of children receiving their gifts and one – the child allocated to YOU – is without a gift? PLEASE check FAQs – Find my Local Drop Off before you start requesting names, pledging and making a commitment to a child. If you have pledged a box and can no longer fulfill the commitment, please Contact Us immediately.


  6. Why are boxes checked at Drop Off??
    Each and every box that Santa Shoebox receives on behalf of the recipient children needs to be checked. Our trained volunteers at each Drop Off  do a swift routine inspection of each box to check for compliance.  Under no circumstances are any items removed from boxes, unless they are undesirable of nature; read more about this under FAQs – How to pack a Shoebox. Any required items that have been omitted from the box need to be included, so that no child receiving a Shoebox feels less fortunate. We rely on the generous donations of items and funds from the public and our sponsors to purchase these items. It is NOT acceptable to omit items from the required list.


  7. Can I Volunteer to help at the Drop Off?
    Absolutely, please see Volunteer my time to sign up or contact your coordinator directly.

Volunteer

The success of this Project depends on its volunteers.

If you’d like to help out for a few hours at the Drop Off please contact your local coordinator and they’ll happily put you to work.

Satellite Teams are responsible for managing and implementing the project at ground level

  • Implementing policies and procedures
  • Managing volunteers
  • Receiving and assessing applications and name lists
  • Marketing
  • Drop Off, storage and delivery of Shoeboxes
  • Celebrations

Coordinator – manages the year-long Project within their area, which is known as a satellite. The Coordinator is the vital link between Head Office and the satellite.

Sub-Coordinator –a core team member of the satellite, managed by the Coordinator. Sub-Coordinators form the direct link between SSB and the Applicants, liaising with facilities and managing the relationship. It is recommended that a Sub-Coordinator manages no more than 7 successful applications.

Team Members – additional roles are required periodically; these can be shared or taken on individually:

  • Marketing and sponsorship
  • Systems support
  • Team / Corporate donor management
  • Drop Off management
  • First Aid
  • Logistics
  • Volunteer coordination

See Volunteer my time for details.

Media

  1. I have a connection at my local newspaper, who can I put them in contact with?
    Thank you for thinking of us, please connect them with Tracy Jones at Positive Dialogue Communications on 021 461 5108 or 084 441 4414 or tracy@positivedialogue.co.za. For more info and downloadable media materials, please visit our About – In the Media

SSB Project

  1. Can you please send me information about the Santa Shoebox Project?
    All information is available on the website. About will give you an idea of “who we are”. Watching the Video in our Gallery will give you a deeper understanding of the organisation. Under In the Media, the media releases and newsletters give an excellent summary of “what we do”, and how you can become involved by Becoming a Supporter.

  2. I’ve heard about other shoebox projects managed by a number of social groups – do you all belong to the same organisation?
    No. The Santa Shoebox Project is an initiative of the JOG Trust (IT2671/2009), a registered Public Benefit (PBO 930031301) and Non Profit Organization (NPO 102-098) with Section 18A status.  The Santa Shoebox Project and its logo are trademarked; any unauthorised use of these may be an infringement. If it does not say SANTA, it’s not this Shoebox Project.

'Targets' / Satellite Capacity

  1. What happens if the ‘target / satellite capacity’ isn’t reached?
    Each year this number is based on the previous years’ result – how many pledges were made and how many delivered to each Drop Off. Historically, up to 6% of boxes pledged by donors are not dropped off. Distribution depends on donors, volunteers and sponsors.
    SSB receives far more applications for Shoeboxes than we are able to distribute. In our Beneficiary Terms & Conditions we explain that the Santa Shoebox Project depends on the generosity of its supporters. If donors do not pledge or drop off sufficient Shoeboxes, we may not be able to deliver Shoeboxes to every approved facility. Should this happen, we assess each facility according to logistical and other criteria, and allocate the Shoeboxes which we do have in a way which ensures that they are best utilised.
    Drop Off dates cannot be extended due to the availability of Drop Off venues, the availability of Volunteers and the availability of Logistics resources.
    A Shoebox which is delivered after Drop Off is seen as a no-show and is treated as an extra, allocated as above.

 

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