Santa in Shoebox provides presents, hope to those in need

On a mid-December evening, a group of Racine County women was on a mission to warm hearts for the holidays. They set up shop at a local Piggly Wiggly to wrap presents for people in need. 

"I’m not a professional at it but I still love it," Cristina Goetzinger said.

It's obvious the boxes were being wrapped with love. 

"Anytime I can help out during Christmas, I’m there," Goetzinger said. 

The wrapping party is for Santa in a Shoebox. For more than a decade, people have pack shoeboxes with gifts to help complete strangers in the area.

"It's Christmas joy," Diana Higgenbottom Anagnostopoulos said. "The idea was launched in my basement 12 years ago with 80 boxes."

Anagnostopoulos believes over 3,000 shoes boxes will be wrapped, collected, and delivered to adults, children, and veterans around southeast Wisconsin this year. 

"However the boxes got designed, people did it with love. I know that," she said.

People dropped off presents and picked them up to soon be delivered. 

Angeline Markiewitz works with children in crisis situations. She stuffed her car with the wrapped shoeboxes so the children she helps can have a wonderful holiday.

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"This actually means quite a bit to us," Markiewitz said. 

The hope is that hearts are filled and the kindness continues. 

"Every random act of kindness, no matter how big, makes the world a better place," Anagnostopoulos said.
 
It's all made possible with the help of area churches, schools, restaurants, and families. 

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