Linda Carlson (left) and Alison Skrepneck pack up the shoeboxes donated by Campbell River residents.

Shoebox project a success

Through the generosity of the people of Campbell River and area, over 240 women in the community who are homeless or at risk of homelessness will enjoy gifts of little luxuries this holiday season.

The Shoebox Project for Shelters, supported by Dream, is a charitable initiative that seeks to brighten the day of women in need in our community and to provide an easy way to give back and make a difference.

Lovely decorated shoeboxes filled with personal items and little luxuries were recently distributed to Campbell River and North Island Transition Society, Downtown winter weather shelter, Radiant Life Church, Salvation Army Evergreen House, Campbell River Women’s Centre, AIDS Vancouver Island, Salvation Army Lighthouse Family Services, Homeless Outreach Program, Advocacy Services Centre, as well as Laichwiltach Family Life Society, Campbell River Public Health Unit and Campbell River Family Services. The women receiving the shoebox gifts appreciate the thought and care that goes into creating them.

A gift from The Shoebox Project helps to boost self-confidence and reduce isolation, and is an important reminder for a woman living in poverty that despite her circumstances, she remains a valued and respected member of her community.

A woman who received a shoebox last year in Campbell River said, “I couldn’t believe that there was a gift certificate in the Shoebox! I changed my clothes, put on some sweet smelling lotion and called my dad to ask him if I could buy him coffee at Tim Hortons!”

The Campbell River Shoebox Project coordinators Alison Skrepneck and Linda Carlson would like to thank individuals, families and groups who filled shoeboxes with personal and special items for the women, those who donated extra items and those who helped to promote the project this year.

There were three drop-off locations for collecting the shoeboxes: Coastal Community Credit Union in Discovery Harbour, Serendipity in The Garden and Sundance Java Bar.

Dan Samson also donated use of a commercial space for storing and sorting the shoeboxes, All in One Party Shop provided several tables during the project, and Dogwood Dental for donated dental supplies.

In 2014, because of the overwhelming generosity of countless Canadians, 17,000 women across the country received a unique and thoughtful gift for the holidays.

For many women, this was the only gift they received. This year Campbell River surpassed their goal and over 240 shoeboxes valuing more than $12,000 were distributed to women who accessed shelter or outreach services as well as other women in need in the community.

The Shoebox Project was founded in Toronto by 4 sisters-in-law in 2011 and now operates in 72 communities across Canada. This was the third year for the project in Campbell River. For more information go to www.shoeboxproject.com