Hundreds of local women in need will have a brighter holiday season thanks to those who donated to the The Campbell River Shoebox Project.
With this year’s campaign concluding, more than 430 women have received gifts together valuing over $15,000 from donations. These include 325 in Campbell River and more than 100 in Port Hardy/North Island.
This year’s gifts were gift cards rather than the usual gift-filled shoeboxes for local women in need. Gift bags tied with bright ribbon containing gift cards along with an inspirational message and a treat were delivered to several shelters and community agencies. This year’s effort was the ninth year for the project and the 10th anniversary for the registered charity.
“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,” said Alison Skrepneck, local Coordinator for The Campbell River Shoebox Project. “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.”
The organization fell short of its goal of providing 525 gifts valuing $50 for local women, however. As a result, the shelters and agencies identified those women most in need and adjusted their requests accordingly, and the value of some of the gifts was reduced to provide as many gifts as possible.
There are a number of reasons that donations were down this year, said Skrepneck.
“There is huge need in the community and many competing priorities for charities with the ongoing challenges and devastation facing our province and country,” she said. “As well, a lot of people in the community are struggling to make ends meet, and as prices increase, money no longer stretches as far as it used to.
“I have also heard that many donors were really missing the hands on physicality of creating gift-filled Shoeboxes as a genuine act of kindness.”