Support for the Markets team in helping the Santa Shoebox Project give to less fortunate children this coming festive season has been phenomenal.

Thanks to participation across CIB, the Markets team and helpers managed to pack 2 714 boxes – as the accompanying montage shows. That’s way beyond the 1 200 boxes the team pledged and delivered to disadvantaged children in SA last year, and nearly double this year’s target of 1 500 boxes.

According to Markets ME, Anél Bosman, donating 1 500 boxes, each valued at around R250, meant raising a whopping R375 000 to achieve their goal. But they did a whole lot better. The total spent this year amounted to R635 000! That could have bought you 3 000 Nedbank shares – or 15 900 Big Mac meals.

“A really great number of 19 suppliers supported the cause,” says Bosman. “Thanks to the vendor participation by way of donations and discounts, R121 000 was raised and that translated into an additional 618 boxes. This will mean the total of boxes bringing smiles to disadvantaged children since the Santa Shoebox Project started in 2006, is getting closer to the million mark.”

A typical Santa Shoebox contains toothpaste, a toothbrush, soap, washcloth, outfit of clothing, educational supplies, sweets and a toy. It takes not only a solid business but a huge number of willing hands to pack these items into the appropriate boxes.

The total of individual items packed into the boxes was 91 800 – or put another way, 6 210 rugby teams. And to pack enough boxes to fill a swimming pool would have taken one person six months working eight hours a day – or 978 hours.

If you’d stacked the boxes on top of each other, their height would have been 405 metres – a little shy of the height of the 451-metre Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. If you’d stacked the boxes side by side, they would have measured 972 metres – or 2,4 times around an athletic track.

“This is a marvellous achievement and well worth celebrating as our flagship CSI initiative in CIB this year. My sincere thanks go to every individual who helped,” concludes Bosman. “Even if all the effort was for one smile, it’s still worth the while.”