Happiness is a shoo-in, thanks to charity project

28 October 2009 | Story by Newsroom

Staff and students at the Department of ZoologyLucky box: Staff and students at the Department of Zoology hard at work to decorate gift boxes for poor children

Staff and students of the Department of Zoology have again pulled together to make a difference to the lives of the poor. They collected 25 boxes of goodies that were taken to the Santa Shoebox Project, a community initiative that collects Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children.

The organisation allows donors to select a child from a list on the organisation's website. Donors collect, decorate and fill shoe boxes for distribution to the children. "Initially, we aimed for 10 boxes but we ended up collecting 25, thanks to everyone's enthusiasm and assistance," said Meg Ledeboer, who spearheaded the UCT contribution.

The shoe boxes are filled with items children love - sweets, crayons, toiletry and clothes - and will be taken to the Nosiseko Educare Centre. The Santa Shoebox Project was started in 2006 when 180 shoe boxes were distributed. This year over 14 500 shoe boxes have been collected.

The department intends to increase its collection to at least 30 boxes next year, and have challenged other departments to match or beat that. "It's a very worthy project and everyone had fun decorating and filling the boxes," added Ledeboer.

The department recently knitted blankets and beanies for charity.

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