Christmas in a box

07 November 2011 | Story by Newsroom

santa shoeboxGiving spirit: Staff from the faculty office in the Faculty of Health Sciences collected and donated gifts to underprivileged children. In picture (from left, back), Candice Solomons, Vuyi Mgoki, Jackie Cogill, Dianne Pryce, Taryn-Lee Safers and Salega Tape. (From left, front), Lyndsay Williams, Abigail Fester, Lorraine McDonald, Jason Stoffberg, Adri Winckler and Charmaine Chalkley-Peters.

Christmas came early for underprivileged children when staff from the faculty office in UCT's Faculty of Health Sciences joined forces to collect and donate gifts for them.

The goodwill was inspired by the national Kidz2Kidz Santa Shoebox Project. As per the project request, the gifts were wrapped in large shoeboxes, and included a set of new clothes, toys, educational supplies and toiletries.

The boxes were dropped off with the project, which will distribute them over the next few weeks.

The project co-ordinates the donation, collection and distribution of personalised gifts to underprivileged children, and helps parents to teach their children the importance of giving. Participating is described as "a profound valuable and personal experience" as the donor knows the name, age and gender of the child that they choose to donate to, and the name of the organisation that cares for the child.

According to Adri Winckler, manager of postgraduate administration in the faculty office, it all started when Charmaine Chalkley-Peters, administrative assistant in the department, approached managers about joining Kidz2Kidz.

The idea was so warmly embraced that some of the 13 staffers got their families involved. The Christmas cheer won't stop there.

"We felt so inspired by this that we have decided to participate in the Angel Hugs project in early December, where people contribute a bag of groceries for poor pensioners," explains Winckler.

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