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South Africa Self-Storage Operator Stor-Age Partners With Santa Shoebox Project

Update 9/10/19 – For the eighth consecutive year, Stor-Age is supporting the Santa Shoebox Project, now in its 14th year. The company will provide up to four free shoeboxes per donor, after which the boxes are sold at R5 each. Donors can pick up the items at any of the company’s 50 locations.

Since launching, Santa Shoebox has provided gifts to more than 850,000 children. It hopes to reach 100,000 children this year, according to a press release. Each completed box will contain eight items: toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, soap, toy, outfit of clothing, school supplies and sweets.

“We are incredibly excited to open pledging for 2019. This is a personal engagement for donors, as each name belongs to an underprivileged child in their community for whom they prepare a meaningful gift,” Zelezniak said. “Donors choose their beneficiary child in the knowledge that the shoebox they lovingly fill with treats and essential items will be handed directly to that very child. We encourage donors to include a note to the child—often the most valued part of the shoebox.”

9/13/16 – For the fifth consecutive year, Stor-Age is supporting the Santa Shoebox Project, now in its 10th year. The company will provide 10,000 shoeboxes, which can be picked up free of charge from any Stor-Age facility. Its locations will also serve as drop-off points for donations of completed shoeboxes as well as provide free storage space for the cause. Stor-Age vans will distribute the donations once the collection is completed.

"We have been part of the project for a number of years now, and the knowledge that we are 'doing good' is worth far more than the effort we put in to make sure the initiative remains as successful as it has been," Oosthuizen said.

Pledging officially opened on Sept. 1 and has already garnered response from around the country, according to a Stor-Age blog. “With the theme for 2016, ‘More Than Just A Shoebox,’ the team at Santa Shoebox sees our 10th birthday as truly representative of the ethos behind the project as a whole," said Deborah Zelezniak, national projects manager for Santa Shoebox.

Last year, Stor-Age received and delivered 10,000 completed shoeboxes. “Stor-Age have been instrumental. We needed a place to store our stuff, which we can’t run the project without,” Zelezniak said.

10/12/15 Stor-Age Self Storage, which operates more than 37 locations in South Africa, is once again participating in the annual Santa Shoebox Project, which distributes gifts to underprivileged children in Namibia and South Africa during the winter holiday season. In addition to donating its own charity packages, the storage company will serve as a drop-off site for donations of empty or completed shoeboxes and provide free storage space for the cause.

“We have been part of the project for a number of years now, and the knowledge that we are ‘doing good’ is worth far more than the effort we put in to make sure the initiative remains as successful as it has been,” said Chris Oosthuizen, general manager of sales and marketing for Stor-Age.

Leading up to the event, Stor-Age will provide space to store various equipment and materials. After the event, it will help distribute the boxes to recipients. Last year, the company provided 10,000 empty shoeboxes at its stores for donors to collect, fill with presents and decorate, according to a press release. It also received and delivered more than 8,000 completed shoeboxes to the main collection point.

In addition, Stor-Age staff volunteered time to help with the initiative. This year, the company’s employees will take special training from Santa Shoebox coordinators to receive the donated shoeboxes and mark them for their specific drop-off locations.

Founded in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2006, Santa Shoebox Project is an initiative of Kidz2Kidz Trust, a nonprofit organization. The number of wrapped and adorned shoeboxes distributed has grown from 180 in 2006 to nearly 110,000 in 2014, according to the group’s website. The boxes, filled with new clothes, school supplies, personal-hygiene items and toys, are distributed to more than 1,000 recipient facilities through more than 60 satellites around Namibia and South Africa. The theme for 2015 is “Giving for Good.”

“We want to do good by giving (good) top-quality gift boxes to (good) deserving children—some of whom have never received a gift at Christmas time before—to create an overwhelmingly good experience that benefits them for good,” said Irené Pieters, national coordinator of Santa Shoebox Project.

This year the organization will also offer “virtual shoeboxes” in partnership with Pick n Pay, an online provider of food, household items, hygiene products and more. The option allows out-of-town and international donors to support the project through

“Our virtual boxes will enable us to deliver top-quality gifts to many more children; and through our pipeline projects and Legacy Fund, we can really make a sustainable difference in the lives of children, especially those living in desolate rural communities. That is really what the Santa Shoebox Project is all about,” Pieters said.

Headquartered in Cape Town, Stor-Age operates properties in six South African cities. The company regularly supports charitable causes. It recently sponsored a golf event to raise funds for special-needs children and also sponsors local rugby teams. It has donated money to the Children’s Hospital Trust in support of the Red Cross Memorial Children’s Hospital, and worked with Bikers Against the Abuse of Children. It has also supported the “It’s Your Turn” dress sale, which raises funds for school uniforms and shoes for children in need.

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