Shoe Box

RotaShoeBox: ShoeBox might ring a bell for many as it is a wide known charity project, usually organised around Christmas time. Unfortunately, there are lots of children and teenagers who don’t receive special gifts on this occasion. Therefore, through ShoeBox we aim at offering Christmas presents and bringing joy to the ones that come from poor material and financial backgrounds. 

History: ShoeBox is an internationally recognised project, organised in many forms all across the globe, from Canada, the US, all the way to Europe. In Romania, there are many organisations and companies that organise it independently. RotaShoeBox started in the winter of 2018, before Christmas and has taken place ever since.

How it works: The idea behind the project is to make someone’s Christmas better and more joyful. Firstly, we make a list with the children and teenagers that come from modest backgrounds around the area of Cluj-Napoca. Then, we buy and gather toys, clothes, books and sweets – the typical gifts one receives from Santa – and we pack them all nicely in shoe boxes during one of our meetings. After that, we split into groups and go to the children to deliver the gifts. The fun part is that one of us dresses up like Santa, so that the small children are always enthusiastic and happy to see the old man dressed in the red suit coming to visit them.    

Goal: In Romania, Christmas is a celebration that brings families and friends together, gathering up for the Christmas dinner and exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve. Starting with November many stores, Radio and TV spots start focussing on the gifts one has to make or must receive for Christmas. This type of forced  consumption is strongly encouraged by the media and that has repercussions for everyone, creating mostly stress. But this period of time is especially tough for the parents who can’t afford to buy their children any presents at all. Through ShoeBox, we aim on one hand, at offering support for parents and on the other hand, at making the children smile knowing that Santa did not forget about them and brought them a gift.

Latest edition: In December 2019, more than 20 children from Cluj-Napoca received Christmas presents from our Santa. We are looking forward to continuing this project and we hope to be able to bring more smiles on children’s faces every year.