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Deadline looms for Shoebox Project

Initiative, started in 2011, helps to empower at risk women and gender diverse individuals

‘Spark Kindess and Shine’ is the theme this year for Campbell River’s Shoebox Project. The initiative, which started on Nov. 14 in Campbell River, will be ongoing until Wed. Dec. 7

The Shoebox project, which started in Toronto in 2011, was introduced to Campbell River two years later in 2013, with the outreach expanding to Port Hardy four years later. The organization encourages community members to create and donate a shoebox, to host a pre-holiday “Shoebox-raiser”, make a virtual shoebox or a monetary donation, in support of empowering at risk, less fortunate or abused women through the simple gesture of gift giving.

“We are excited to be returning and collecting and delivering Shoe box gifts in Campbell River and Port Hardy this year after two years of providing gift cards for local vulnerable women during the pandemic,” said local coordinator for the project, Alistan Skrepneck. “We heard that donors really missed creating the shoebox gifts for the last two years and we hope that the hands on experience of creating a special shoebox gift for a woman who is less fortunate will provide an opportunity for more people in the community to get involved and give generously this year.”

The initiative is simple: To put together a shoebox of basic necessities, such as hygiene products like shampoo and conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste; clothing, such as socks and an outside accessory such as hand-warmers, hat, mitts or scarf; Nut-free candy or chocolate; cosmetics; A skin care item, such as face cream or body lotion; and a self-care item, such as a journal or a colouring book. The value of these prepared shoeboxes should be around $50 dollars.

The goal for this year is to provide 575 shoeboxes for local vulnerable women, with 455 for Campbell River and another 120 in Port Hardy/North Island.

the focus of encouraging community support for women and gender diverse people who are at-risk. This population faces specific vulnerabilities, such as hidden homelessness or domestic violence.

“We are being challenged by a new face of homelessness and its meaning,” said project Executive Director Lesley Hendry. “As our organization evolves, our focus is expanding beyond meaningful gifts of kindness to a broader education campaign.”

If you would like to donate a shoebox, you may do so until Dec 7 at the following locations: Coastal Community Credit Union in Discovery Harbour, La Tee Da Lingerie in Shoppers Row, or Coho Books in Willow Point in Campbell River. Or in Port Hardy at the North Island Crisis & Counselling Centre Society on Beverly Parnham Way.

READ MORE: Shoebox Project begins Nov. 14

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