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Women’s shoebox project a big success

This year’s Shoebox Project for Women in Campbell River surpassed the expectations of coordinators

This year’s Shoebox Project for Women in Campbell River surpassed the expectations of coordinators.

The goal this year was 200 and more than 230 shoeboxes valuing over $11,000 were collected for the women in the community in time for the holidays.

Brightly decorated shoeboxes filled with little luxuries were distributed to Campbell River and North Island Transition Society, the downtown extreme weather shelter, Radiant Life Church, Salvation Army Evergreen House, Campbell River Women’s Centre, AIDS Vancouver Island, Salvation Army Lighthouse Family Services, Advocacy Services Centre, as well as Laichwiltach Family Life Society, Campbell River Public Health Unit and Campbell River Family Services.

This was the second year for the project in Campbell River coordinated by Alison Skrepneck and Susan Dyson and there was even more interest and support from the community this year.

The coordinators of the Shoebox Project thank everyone in the community for their generosity and support once again this year. The Shoebox Project aimed at women who have accessed shelter and outreach services, asked members of the community to fill shoeboxes with personal items that women having a difficult time may not buy for themselves.

Coordinators would also like to recognize all of those who helped promote the project, and the individuals, families, groups and businesses who got busy filling the shoeboxes for the women, and to those who donated extra items for the shoeboxes. Many thanks to the three drop off locations for collecting the shoeboxes: Coastal Community Credit Union in Discovery Harbour, Serendipity in the Garden and Sundance Java Bar. Special thank-you to the Samson family for use of their commercial space for storing and sorting the shoeboxes, the Campbell River Arts Council for use of their tables on sorting days, to Fresh Dental for their generous donation of dental items, and to the many volunteers who helped sort through and deliver shoeboxes to the shelters and agencies.

“It has been so heartwarming to see the support of the community and enthusiasm for this project,” Skrepneck says. “People enjoyed filling the boxes with special things they love themselves and creating a gift for someone who is less fortunate. Everyone has been so happy to hear about the success of the campaign.”

Dyson agrees.

“This project has clearly demonstrated what a giving community Campbell River is,” Dyson says. “People want to help, want to give, and this has become another avenue for that to happen.”

The Shoebox Project for Shelters is a charitable initiative and believes that a small gesture can make a big difference. It is also hoped that those who have been inspired to participate will gain a deeper understanding of abuse, poverty, and mental illness – all factors contributing to women’s homelessness in Canada. Started in Toronto by four sisters-in-law in 2011 it now operates in 30 cities across Canada. Last year 9,100 shoeboxes were distributed to women across the country. Campbell River doubled its goal in 2013 and 155 gifts were delivered to women in the community.

The Shoebox Project delivers shoeboxes filled with items valuing about $50 to women who are homeless for any reason. For more information visit www.shoeboxproject.com