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Shoebox Project launches Campbell River, Port Hardy/North Island gift drive

Invites community to be part of a chain reaction of empathy and compassion
Campbell River Shoebox Project volunteers Jeannie Mathews and Alison Skrepneck delivering Shoeboxes to The John Howard Society of North Island in 2022. Photo contributed

Nov. 13 is the official launch date for The Campbell River Shoebox Project’s annual holiday gift drive.

The charity encourages its supporters to “Cultivate a Culture of Care” by creating and donating a gift to a local woman who is homeless or at-risk of homelessness.

In a year where more and more Canadians are turning to the nonprofit sector for support, the number of women and gender-diverse people affected by homelessness is on the rise, and requests for Shoebox gifts are high in Campbell River and Port Hardy/North Island. The Campbell River Shoebox Project’s goal this year is to provide 570 gift-filled Shoeboxes by Wednesday, Dec. 6 to 15 of their partnering shelters and agencies; 450 in Campbell River and 120 in Port Hardy/North Island.

“As the number of Canadians unable to pay for basic necessities continues to increase, the strain on the local shelters and community agencies we support is palpable,” says Executive Director Lesley Hendry. “At The Shoebox Project, we are not only challenged by an increased demand for Shoebox gifts and other in-kind donations, but also by increased operating costs and reduced donations. Next to 2020, this is the second most challenging year we have faced in our 12-year history.”

The Campbell River Shoebox Project has been delivering gifts to local vulnerable women since 2013 in Campbell River and expanded to Port Hardy/North Island in 2017. In 2022, with donations from the community and the help of some additional funding, 453 Shoeboxes (and a few gift cards) valuing $50 were delivered to local shelters and agencies; 388 in Campbell River and 65 in Port Hardy/North Island with a total value over $22,650.

Once again this year, The Campbell River Shoebox Project invites the community to rally behind its local shelters and outreach agencies and the people they serve, by building and nurturing a Culture of Care.

“Local women who are homeless or at-risk-of homelessness, are very grateful when they receive a Shoebox gift donated by members of the community. I have heard that some women are overwhelmed and get really emotional that they have been thought of at Christmas, which can be a difficult time of year,” said Alison Skrepneck, Local Shoebox Project


Help uplift and empower a local woman who is homeless or at-risk-of homelessness this year. Donate a Shoebox gift filled with daily essentials and little luxuries valuing $50, and drop it off between Nov. 13 and Wednesday, Dec. 6:

- In Campbell River: Coastal Community Credit Union (Discovery Harbour), La Tee Da Lingerie (Shoppers Row), or Mattone Italian Kitchen (Willow Point)

- In Port Hardy: North Island Crisis & Counselling Centre Society (Beverly Parnham Way)

Shoeboxes ($50 value) should include:

- $10 gift card to a grocery or drug store

- Shampoo and Conditioner

- Body Wash

- Deodorant

- Socks

- Chocolate/Candy (nut free)

- Cosmetics

- A cozy accessory (handwarmers, hat, mitts, scarf)

- Skin care item (face cream, body/hand lotion, cleanser)

- Self-care item (journal, lip balm, colouring book)

Be part of a community that cares. Visit for more information, including what to include and what not to include in a Shoebox gift, how to create a Gender Inclusive Shoebox, and how to host a Shoebox-raiser event. Financial donations and Virtual Shoeboxes to The Campbell River Shoebox Project will be gratefully accepted.Follow The Campbell River Shoebox Project on Facebook and Instagram.

If you have questions, contact Alison by email at or by phone at 250-203-9360. In Port Hardy you can reach Marina at 250-230-7598.