Volunteers and employees of Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly pack and wrap boxes in 2013 for Santa in a Shoebox. The 2014 program has officially kicked off!


Santa in a Shoebox is underway! The successful, community-driven event is coming off a record-breaking year in 2013: over 800 boxes of holiday cheer delivered to children, adults, seniors and veterans across our area.

Now in its sixth year, Santa in a Shoebox is the idea of Racine resident Diana Anderson Higgenbottom. She said she was listening to the radio in 2009 when she heard about Santa in a Shoebox in another community and thought it would work well here.

The program is a simple concept: provide needed items like socks, razors, soap, shampoo and other toiletries along with small gifts like candy, hair ties for women and girls or cologne for men and teens; package them in a shoebox and then wrap the box and deliver it to a person in the appropriate age group.

Items that are often included in shoeboxes are:

  • Toiletry items
  • Gift cards
  • Little girl’s and little boy’s like travel size soaps and toothpastes
  • Body sprays for teen boys
  • Nail polish for teen girls
  • Razors, brushes, combs, toothbrushes for adults
  • Small books, sewing kits, and word search books older adults

Racine Unified has asked that toy guns or other weapons not be included in boxes for students.

Recipients are recommended to Higgenbottom by schools, organizations, shelters and healthcare groups, a story from our friends at Racine Uncovered reads.

The individuals who receive a box have no idea they were chosen, and the joy on their faces when they are first handed the box and then see what’s inside is indescribable, volunteers told Racine County Eye.

Donations of items as well as filled and empty boxes are being accepted through December 16 at both Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly, 5201 Washington Avenue, and at Racine Harley-Davidson, 1155 Oakes Road, both in Mount Pleasant.

Beginning Sunday, Piggly Wiggly begins it’s “round-up” program where the store rounds up customer orders to the nearest dollar and donates that amount to Santa in a Shoebox so “elves” can go shopping for items to put in the boxes.

Area Santas will start delivering boxes on Dec. 18.

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