Boxes of joy for needy children

PGP’s area manager for the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl, Basil Moraitis, says every single agent, manager and support staff member collected at least one box, funding the items from their own pockets.  “I would like to thank the staff of the Sea Point, Camps Bay, City Bowl and Atlantic Prestige offices for supporting this project so enthusiastically,” he says.  “At this time of year when we are all looking forward to the holiday season and some time off with our loved ones, it is important to remember that there are many families whose budget simply doesn’t extend to even the basic necessities.”

“For many of the children who benefit from this project,” he continues, “this will be the only Christmas gift they receive, and possibly the first one they’ve ever had in their lives. What makes this project personal for us is that every box is allocated to a designated child – so we all knew the name, age and gender of the specific child whose gift we were preparing, making it more meaningful to us.”

The Santa Shoebox Project is run entirely by volunteers, and is now in its fifth year.  It began in Cape Town in 2006 with just 180 boxes, but has grown exponentially every year since then.  In 2010, close to 32 000 boxes were collected, while the 2011 target is an ambitious 70 000.  Each box contains basic essentials such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, washcloth and soap, as well as clothing, toys, sweets and stationery.  The beneficiaries include over 350 organisations across the country, from pre-schools and edu-care centres to foster homes and shelters for at-risk children.  The project has even expanded outside of South Africa’s borders, with boxes now being collected for children in Namibia and Botswana as well.
To learn more about the project, visit

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