The Campbell River Shoebox Project’s first year incorporating the North Island has been a success.
The project encourages people to decorate a shoebox and fill it with gifts a woman in need would enjoy, and North Islanders stepped up to answer the call, donating more than 100 shoeboxes surpassing the original goal of 50.
This year the project saw over 480 gift-filled shoeboxes delivered to local shelters and outreach agencies which serve vulnerable women and they, in turn, gave the shoeboxes to the women prior to Christmas.
In the North Island, the shoebox gifts were delivered to North Island Crisis & Counselling Centre Society. This was the 5th year for the project in Campbell River and the first year in the North Island.
Marina Hargrave from the North Island Crisis Centre Society promoted, collected and distributed shoeboxes for disadvantaged women in the North Island and was overwhelmed with the response from the community.
“The shoeboxes were just beautiful and you could tell the love that had gone into creating them. The women who receive them will really appreciate them,” said Hargrave, adding “One lady cried when she received her gift and said ‘Just the fact that someone was thinking about me means so much.’”
Keltic Seafoods, Island Advantage Distributors, and Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre also gave financial donations which helped create more shoeboxes for women in the North Island.
Coordinator Alison Skrepneck said in a Dec. 16 press release that she “Would like to thank everyone who filled shoeboxes with personal items and little luxuries for the women, those who donated extra items, the dedicated volunteers who helped pick up, sort, decorate and deliver shoeboxes, and those who helped promote the project this year.”
Skrepneck added that “We are thrilled to have surpassed our goal of 290 Shoeboxes for Campbell River and 50 for the North Island, in Campbell River alone we delivered more than 370 gift filled Shoeboxes and in the North where the need is great, they more than doubled their goal this first year – we are very pleased with the response!”
The Shoebox projects goal is to provide a gift that is a “powerful reminder for a woman that she has not been forgotten and that she remains a valued and respected member of her community.”
The Shoebox Project for Shelters collects and distributes gifts in the form of shoeboxes to women who are homeless or at high risk of homelessness. Each Shoebox is filled with items valued at 50 dollars that can enhance self-esteem and reduce feelings of isolation for a woman in crisis. Founded in 2011 by Caroline, Jessica, Katy and Vanessa Mulroney, The Shoebox Project now delivers 36,000 gifts annually to hundreds of communities across North America.