Senior Santa Shoebox ProjectSenior Santa Shoebox was started as a Facebook Charity in 2015 by Angela Gorman and her daughter Ciara when it became apparent that there are so many lonely old folk in the local Old Age Homes across the Peninsula.

Whether they are in homes because their families have emigrated and they have no family here or they have been ‘dumped’ by their family when their medical expenses exceeded their meagre pensions. We regularly visit the homes during the year and chat with the staff and residents. When we give them gifts at Christmas, they are personalised to their needs and have their names on them.

In 2015 we started with one home in Plumstead and handed out 47 gifts. Over the years we have been able to add more homes and more lonely folk get a visit from Santa and his elves and get given a gift. In 2019 we visited 13 homes and over 1200 old folk received personalised gifts.

We have two Santas, Mike Clapp who is assisted by his son Jesse and fiancé Odette and her two sons Keanu and Connor, and Zyboedien Abrahams.

We are supported by Blue Route Mall each year and they encourage their shoppers to donate items which are then packed into gift boxes in the mall by volunteer elves. Standard Bank also helps us, their staff make the boxes and supply a complete home. Our photographer, Andrew Gorman, www.agormanevents.com covers each home’s party to make sure donors see their gift being received where possible.

Mike Clapp has been our willing Santa since 2015 along with his children who assist him as Santa’s Helpers.

Mike has this incredible way of connecting with people and in particular, the elderly. He is charismatic around the elderly with his cheerful upbeat ‘ho-ho-ho’ mixed with lots of empathy for their very frustrating situation. Mike is a humanitarian, volunteer and philanthropist through and through who makes time with each elder whose heart he touches, be it eye contact that they need, a shoulder to cry on or a big hug to lift their spirits. Some of these precious moments have been captured perfectly by lens.

The Senior Santa Shoebox project also raises funds for various other eldercare needs to include wheelchairs and basic supplies. Through his network, Mike has on frequent occasions gathered donations along with his own for the purchase of much needed wheelchairs and supplies.

We are so grateful to have Mike as the mascot for our Senior Santa Shoebox Project.

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