The ShoeBox Project: an amazing gift idea for Ramadaan and Easter

shoebox project

What’s in a shoebox? Shoes, of course! And ever so often, we keep our shoes neat and tidy in the box until one day we just toss it away. Today, you can give your shoebox a new purpose: decorate it and fill it with love and goodies to bring a smile to someone less fortunate.

While our kids look forward to gifts at Ramadaan, Christmas, Easter, Birthdays and other special occasions (or even as rewards), there are many kids who don’t know the joy of receiving a well wrapped, well thought of gift. At the same time, our kids dont know the joy of giving!

This is an incredible idea to help them learn this joy from an early age – its benefits are innumerable!

How does the ShoeBox Project Work

Firstly you would need to identify a community or an orphanage in need of your kind gesture. You could even make a pledge on the Ramdaaan Shoebox Project website, or the Santa Shoebox ( there are various other organsiations like these too).

Make a note of age and gender of the recipients – you may need assistance with this. This helps you purchase appropriate, personalised gifts.

Then, gather some friends and family and get ready to paint, create, and shop!

Once the boxes are complete they can be handed over to the organisation at specific drop-off points, or if you are doing your own project, you can go out to distribute them yourselves. Doing it yourself is quite a soulful experience, and you can even hand out fresh items like cupcakes and other treats if you do it this way.

Understandably, not all of us have the time for this or access to such communities, and thats why the organisations are of great help. Perhaps enquire when they will be distributing these and seek permission to go out with them.

Shoebox gifts for Eid

What you would need for the Shoebox Project

  • Shoeboxes! Get out all the sturdy shoeboxes from your closet
  • Paint, wrapping paper, glue and any craft items – make it look pretty!
  • Basic toiletries like toothbrush, soaps, sanitary pads (for girls), etc.
  • A clothing item like gloves, beanies, socks, sunhat – anything you love!
  • Stationery – because all kids love them! Basic or quirky, you choose.
  • Some snacks like your favourite crisp, sweet or even a bottle of chocolate spread.
  • A little toy – something small they would cherish forever.
  • A note of love! Anything cute that will remind them they are loved and remembered.

These are simple items that shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, and are often overlooked when we consider charity.

Want to give more? Lets add to the shoebox!

Every orphanage, home or community is run by adults – who selflessly give their time and energy to care for , educate and nurture these kids. They are often overlooked or handed a sum of money with instructions to use for the institution only.

While you’re taking out the boxes, look at gently worn clothes (and shoes!) in your wardrobe that you may never wear again. A general rule is that for every new clothing (or any other)  item you purchase, you should remove at least one item from your closet for charity:

Add to your shoebox, by placing these items in a clear ziplock bag, clearly marked with size and gender and hand these over to the caretakers. Even if they do not fit, they will find someone in their family or home who would love receiving this.

Uplift through giving!

Inspiration for article

The Ramadaan ShoeBox Project was one that started in 2011 and has been growing ever since. It has inspired many other initiatives – and this year is no exception. In fact, its such a wonderful idea that can be shared across all communities and religions to make South Africa a better place!

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Analytikal Mama

Analytikal Mama

Analytikal Mama, mother of 4 beautiful children, wife and co-chef to a braaimaster.  She loves spending time with family and friends, traveling, and is endlessly curious about religion, parenting and the culinary world. 

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