Marina Hargrave is the lead for The Campbell River Shoebox Project in the North Island. (Submitted photo)

Marina Hargrave is the lead for The Campbell River Shoebox Project in the North Island. (Submitted photo)

Another successful season for the Shoebox Project

Hundreds of the most vulnerable women in Campbell River and Port Hardy/North Island will be receiving giftcards this holiday season thanks to the generosity of community members and some additional funding. Once again this year, due to COVID-19, The Campbell River Shoebox Project provided gifts of gift cards rather than the usual gift-filled shoeboxes for local women in need.

Unfortunately, the goal of providing 525 gifts valuing $50 for local women was not reached, and so similar to last year, the shelters and outreach agencies identified those women most in need and adjusted their requests for gifts accordingly. As well, the value of some of the gifts was reduced in order to provide as many gifts as possible for vulnerable women in the community. By making those adjustments, at the end of the campaign more than 430 women will receive gifts valuing over $15,000 from donations; over 325 in Campbell River and more than 100 in Port Hardy/North Island.

Even with the lower donations, hundreds of local women in need will have a brighter Christmas thanks to those who donated. By receiving giftcards this year the women will be able to purchase necessities or things they would like. Allison Skrepneck commented, “The agencies were so happy and grateful to receive the gifts for the women this year even though the value and number was less than requested. For many women it will be the only gift they get at Christmas and a number of them have received shoebox gifts in the past, so they look forward to receiving them. It means a lot for the women who receive the gifts to know that others in the community are thinking of them, especially at this time of year.”

Since donations were low in Port Hardy/North Island again this year, the project was able to access some Indigenous funds from The Shoebox Project head office in Toronto. By reducing the value of the gifts, it meant that over 100 local women in need will receive gifts distributed by Marina Hargrave through the North Island Crisis & Counselling Centre Society.

Providing the gifts to local vulnerable women at this time of year is only possible with the support of the community, and the compassion and generosity of many individuals, groups and businesses.

Thank you to the organizations that provided additional funding to supplement local donations including a grant from Coastal Community Credit Union, a donation from Campbell River Rotary, Indigenous funding from The Shoebox Project head office in Toronto and some additional gift cards from the head office, said the Shoebox Project, adding thanks also goes out to several businesses that hosted promotional events this fall: Ragdolz for providing a discount to customers that brought in gift cards, Westcoast Wildflowers & Co. that matched gift card purchases and MacDonalds Campbell River for a donation from their “12 Days Before Christmas Community Donations” campaign.

All of these donations made it possible to provide more gifts for women in the community.

Thanks to those who promoted the project and special thanks to the Gift card Drop-off Locations this year: Coastal Community Credit Union in Discovery Harbour, La Tee Da Lingerie and Coho Books in Campbell River, and North Island Crisis & Counselling Centre Society in Port Hardy.

Thanks once again Campbell River and the North Island for supporting The Shoebox Project this year. Watch for more information next fall when hopefully we can go back to providing gift-filled Shoeboxes again.

Online donations can be made year round by visiting The Shoebox Project website at

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