Beginning on Nov. 12, The Shoebox Project for Women, Supported by Dream, will once again be collecting donations of Shoeboxes benefitting local women who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Photo submitted

The Shoebox Project returns to Campbell River and the North Island this holiday season

Seventh year for The Shoebox Project in Campbell River and the third year for the North Island.

The Shoebox Project for Women, Supported by Dream, is once again be collecting donations of Shoeboxes benefitting local women who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.

The idea is simple: pack a Shoebox with about $50 worth of gifts that any woman might enjoy, drop it off by Friday Dec. 6, and The Shoebox Project will deliver it to a local women’s shelter or community agency serving vulnerable women in time for the holidays.

Shoeboxes should include a combination of practical items like toiletries, mitts and socks and “little luxuries” like bath and beauty products, accessories and gift cards.

Donors are also asked to include a personal message of support or a warm greeting in their Shoebox to help their Shoebox recipient feel special.

This is the seventh year for The Shoebox Project in Campbell River and the third year for the North Island.

In 2018, The Campbell River Shoebox Project surpassed its goal and delivered 525 gift-filled Shoeboxes to 14 organizations.

This year the goal is 420 Shoeboxes for Campbell River and 50 for the North Island which is a total of 470 Shoeboxes.

Alison Skrepneck, local Shoebox Project Coordinator, said, “We are hopeful that community members will step up once again and help us reach our goal by donating gift-filled Shoeboxes for local disadvantaged women. In speaking with a number of the shelters and community agencies, we understand that the need is greater than ever this year. Some agencies have requested more Shoeboxes and we have expanded to a few others.”

Skrepneck went on to say, “The women who receive the Shoeboxes really appreciate the gifts and we know that people enjoy creating them.”

Carol James from Salvation Army Lighthouse Family Services said, “It’s wonderful to see such joy on the women’s faces when they receive a Shoebox gift that is just for them … especially for single Moms who don’t think about themselves as they are concerned about their children receiving a gift at Christmas.”

The main objective of a Shoebox is to help the recipient feel special, worthy and cared for.

Community members interested in creating a Shoebox or donating online can visit www.shoeboxproject.com for more detailed information.

How to make a shoebox for a woman in your community:

1. Decorate your empty Shoebox. Please wrap the bottom and top separately so the gift can be inspected before delivery. You can also purchase decorative Shoeboxes that don’t require wrapping!

2. Fill your Shoebox with little luxuries that would help a woman feel special. Choose high quality items valuing about $50 that you would like to receive yourself. Please only include new/unused items.

What to Include: Something warm like socks, mitts, scarf, hat, hand warmers.

Something sweet: nut-free chocolate or candy (not alcohol filled), body or hand lotion, soaps, body wash, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, brush, comb, shampoo, conditioner, hair ties, nail polish, mascara, eye shadow, lipstick, lip balm, purse-sized tissue, small cosmetic bag, gift cards (for groceries, coffee shop, movies, drug store, fast food), journal, pens, a coloring book.

What to leave out: Used goods, hotel/free samples, sized clothing (i.e. S, M, L, XL), feminine hygiene products,

products containing alcohol (mouth wash, hand-sanitizer), candles, foundations, concealers, razors, foods containing nuts, jumbo-sized containers, anything opened or not packaged.

3. Write a message. Let your shoebox recipient know that you are thinking of her with a warm note or an uplifting card.

4. Deliver your decorated shoebox to one of the drop off locations from Nov. 12 to Friday, Dec. 6:

In Campbell River: Coastal Community Credit Union, Discovery Harbour, La Tee Da Lingerie, Shoppers Row, Sundance Java Bar, Sunrise Square at Willow Point.

In Port Hardy: North Island Crisis & Counselling Centre Society, Beverly Parnham Way.

For more information on The Shoebox Project, visit our website at www.shoeboxproject.com, or contact Alison at 250-203-9360 or at campbellriver@shoeboxproject.com.

In Port Hardy you can reach Marina at 250-230-7598.

Find us on Facebook at The Campbell River Shoebox Project.

About the Shoebox Project:

The Shoebox Project for Women, supported by Dream, collects and distributes gift-filled Shoeboxes to women impacted by homelessness. Each Shoebox is filled with items valued at 50 dollars that can enhance self-worth and reduce isolation.Founded in 2011 by Caroline, Jessica, Katy and Vanessa Mulroney, The Shoebox Project now delivers over 46,000 gifts annually to hundreds of communities across Canada, the US, and the United Kingdom.

– Gazette staff

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