The Santa Shoebox Project’s first ever interactive Santa’s Workshop Experience for donors and their children will be presented at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) between Friday 31 October and Sunday 2 November. With the CTICC as a proud sponsor of its world-class venue, the event will coincide with the drop-off of 35 000 Santa Shoeboxes in the central Cape Town zone. An additional 65 000 Santa Shoeboxes will be collected at other points around South Africa and Namibia over the next few weeks.
Interactive events and a fantastic line-up of entertainment will be presented at the CTICC all weekend, starting with the official opening on Friday at 11am with Premier Helen Zille as guest of honour. Corporates and schools will be dropping off their bulk Santa Shoeboxes on Friday, but members of the public too are welcome to attend the opening, and are invited to join the party anytime during the weekend.
Drop-off times for Santa Shoeboxes are from 09:00 to 18:00 on Saturday (with live entertainment between 10:00 and 16:00) and on Sunday from 09:00 to 15:00. Entrance to Santa’s Workshop is free all weekend and parking is available at the CTICC at a reduced rate of a maximum of R25 per car for all day parking.
The entertainment line-up features everything from the classics and choral music, to jazz, blues and rock and some belly dancing thrown in for good measure! The Ikapa Dance Theatre troupe, Red Zebra and the highly skilled youth drumming outfit from Manenberg – the Limited Edition Drum Corps, are just some of the top acts that guests can look forward to over this jam-packed weekend of action at the CTICC. On stage too will be the St Cyprian’s School Choir, the Palm Strings jazz quartet, and Soprano Elizabeth Catharina.
While thousands of generous citizens will be dropping off their beautifully wrapped gift boxes to be distributed to children in need this festive season, the buzz will also be centred around Santa’s Grotto, where kiddies can have their photo taken with Santa after dropping off their own gift boxes. There will be storytelling sessions courtesy of Exclusive Books and interactive dance and face painting sessions with the Jelly Bean Event company to delight the little ones.
One of the highlights of the weekend is the Celebrity Wrap-Off – a Santa Shoebox giftwrapping competition led by popular Good Hope FM DJ Guy McDonald on Saturday 1 November from 11:00 to 12:00. Local celebs including Craz-e World Live’s Zola Hashatsi, Cape Talk News Anchor Pippa Hudson, and beloved ‘Giggling Gourmet’ Jenny Morris, as well as the Bok Radio Brekfis team are just some of Cape Town’s favourite personalities who will vie against each other to wrap the most beautiful gift-in-a-shoebox ever seen. Everyone is invited to come down to the CTICC to support these well-known participants. Teenagers too can be sure of loads of action, laughs and good times when funky Good Hope FM DJ Carl Wastie eases into his ‘The Teen Show’ between 12:00 and 15:00 on Saturday, during a special live broadcast from Santa Shoebox at the CTICC.
Says National Coordinator Irené Pieters: ‘The idea with our free-to-the-public Santa’s Workshop Experience is to thank the loyal Santa Shoebox supporters who year on year, donate the gifts that are distributed to over 100 000 children from vulnerable social backgrounds in orphanages, children’s homes and care centres across the country, and as far as Namibia. With this event we want to create a strong sense of community amongst our supporters, and instill a deeper understanding of the Santa Shoebox Project and the plight of underprivileged children amongst our young donors. Essentially we are offering them an up-close experience of the journey that the boxes take once they get dropped off’.
The Santa Shoebox Project connects people through the ‘joy of giving’, and with this year’s theme, ‘KISS – Keep it Sustainable Santa!’, a number of creative new initiatives have been introduced. It means that good-hearted people who haven’t donated a shoebox in time by the drop-off dates, can still contribute to a child in need by sponsoring Proudly South African raincoats to children who live in high winter rainfall areas, to keep them dry on their way to school every day; or by making a financial donation towards the new Santa Shoebox Legacy fund that will provide additional support to children’s facilities – an option perfectly suited to corporates and businesses. All of these options can be easily actioned via the new Santa Shoebox website, http://www.santashoebox.org.
MORE ABOUT THE SANTA SHOEBOX PROJECT
With ‘share the joy of giving’ as the essence of the project, the Santa Shoebox Project offers people from all walks of life the chance to participate in a profoundly valuable and personal experience, enriching the lives of both those doing the giving, and those on the receiving end. Donors are encouraged to involve their own children in the process of personally selecting the name of a child from one of the centres or children’s homes, and putting together his or her individualized, age appropriate Santa Shoebox gift. Uniquely, this means each participant knows the first name, age and gender of the child. Donors and volunteers agree that it is this personal touch that endears the project to adults and children year on year.
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