The Victoria chapter of the Shoebox Project is putting out the call for donations once again while working towards its annual goal of brightening the lives of women in need during the holiday season.
Each year, the chapter collects shoeboxes filled with toiletries and cosy accessories and distributes them to hundreds of women living in shelters and transition houses with the goal of helping disadvantaged women feel seen and supported by the community during a particularly stressful time of year.
This year, some 735 shoeboxes are needed in the region, going to women in 15 different agencies. In 2021, the group was able to donate 620 shoeboxes.
People are encouraged to donate a filled and decorated standard-sized shoebox with around $50 worth of items a woman is likely to enjoy. Items such as a gift card to a grocery or drug store, shampoos or conditioners, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, socks, candy, cosmetics, hat or scarf are encouraged.
Donated boxes should be decorated but not sealed as they need to be inspected before delivery, and thick items like bows should not be placed on top of the box as they will be stacked for storage. Used items, hotel or travel-sized sample items, sized clothing, perfume, skin-colour-specific items like concealer, razors or other sharp objects, and candles should not be included in a box.
Cash donations in lieu of a filled shoebox can also be made online at shoeboxproject.ca/chapters/victoria. Filled shoeboxes can also be dropped off at 16 different businesses across Greater Victoria, with a complete list available online.
If making a cash donation or donating an entire box is out of reach, project organizers encourage people to host shoebox parties, where a group of people come together to each make a contribution to a single box donated on behalf of the group.
Victoria local coordinator Deb Schenk is also organizing a pair of events during the campaign, with the first on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. outside the Toys ‘R Us location at the Mayfair Shopping Centre. Schenck will be providing information on the campaign and collecting donated boxes and individual items. She also has a shoebox party organized for Dec. 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Sooke Community Hall, and those interested in attending are asked to message her through the Victoria Shoebox Project Facebook page.
Donations will be collected until Dec. 16.
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