Linda Ferguson, organizer of the Shoebox Project in Sooke, shows off the fundraiser’s sponsored tree at SEAPARC’s Festival of Trees on Monday, Dec. 4. (Dawn Gibson/Sooke News Mirror)

Linda Ferguson, organizer of the Shoebox Project in Sooke, shows off the fundraiser’s sponsored tree at SEAPARC’s Festival of Trees on Monday, Dec. 4. (Dawn Gibson/Sooke News Mirror)

Christmas fundraisers join forces in Sooke

Shoebox Project part of Festival of Trees

The holidays are a time when people often come together and try to give back, which is exactly what two local fundraisers are doing this year in Sooke.

SEAPARC’s annual Festival of Trees is back for the ninth year, and will have nine trees on display sponsored by the Sooke Royal CanadianLegion, the Sooke Lioness Club, the Rotary Club of Sooke, four Sooke elementary schools, and another local fundraiser called the Shoebox Project.

The event runs until Jan. 4, and people can go to SEAPARC to vote and donate towards their favourite tree. The tree that receives the most votes will win a plaque, with proceeds going to the B.C. Children’s Hospital.

“With the children’s hospital, it’s one of those things that until you need their services you tend not to think about them,” said Elizabeth Olsen, an organizer of the event. “But then again with the amount of families in Sooke that use the hospital’s services, I think it really hits home. You know, when you’re child’s sick there’s nothing else that matters.”

Olsen said her favourite part about the festival is the tree trimming and seeing how the centre looks when the trees are decorated.

“People walk in and have a big smile when they see the trees, so I think it really speaks to the Christmas spirit,” said Olsen. “I love seeing the joy it brings people.”

Linda Ferguson, an organizer of the Shoebox Project, said having their fundraiser sponsor a tree at SEAPARC is a win-win situation because money goes towards the hospital, but it also builds some much-needed awareness around the Shoebox Project.

This is the fifth year the Shoebox Project has taken place in Sooke, and each year, individuals, businesses, and organizations put together gifts for women-in-need in a shoe box, which are then delivered to different shelters around the Island.

The project runs until Dec. 17, and Ferguson said this year she hopes to round up approximately 1,500 shoe boxes for Sooke.

“All of the shoe boxes stay in the community, and even though people might not see it, there is a need right here in Sooke,” said Ferguson.

People are encouraged to include a message of inspiration inside the shoe box they donate for the women who are receiving it.

“These women are often moved to tears when they receive their boxes because right now they are at a difficult time in their life, so it’s amazing to let them know that a complete stranger out there supports them, loves them, and believes that they will get through it.”

Ferguson added that the project brings awareness to the community that there are many women who end up in shelters over the holidays, and this year there is more of a need than ever, so the project is seeking as much help as possible.

“This is a time of year where people in need can feel very vulnerable,” she said. “So it’s extremely rewarding to help out and know that you are making a difference in someone’s life.”

To volunteer or learn how to donate to the Shoebox Project, visit shoeboxproject.com.

Just Posted

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley MLA Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

BC Green Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Sooke Fire Rescue firefighters evacuate an injured hiker on Mount Manuel Quimper in March 2021. Sooke will soon be moving to a new fire dispatch service. (Facebook – Sooke Fire Rescue)
Proposed fire dispatch deal could save Sooke thousands of dollars

New dispatch needed after Langford drops out of CRD service

Al Kowalko drives Sooke School District’s first electric bus that began operation in May. The board decided on June 15 that all future buses will be electric, asking the province for more funding to support the program. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Sooke school board agrees to make all future buses electric

Board to ask province to increase funding to cover the extra up front cost

Brian Korzenowski rides with Athena, left, and Venus who are safely strapped in and goggled up with the wind in their fur. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to Sooke Road commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Wanted man Michael Bruce was arrested Wednesday in Langford. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP find wanted man hiding under mattress

Michael Bruce had multiple warrants out for his arrest in Sooke and the West Shore

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the two patients, a man and a woman likely acquired the virus in the hospital

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General David Eby attend opening of the first government-run B.C. Cannabis Store, Kamloops, Oct. 19, 2018. (B.C. government)
B.C. government to allow home cannabis delivery starting July 15

Added convenience expected to persuade buyers to ‘go legal’

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August 2019 about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
Elections BC approves petition application for referendum on Surrey policing transition

Application was filed under Recall and Initiative Act by the widow of a Surrey murder victim

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits he failed to supervise his staff and find or report the shortages

Most Read