It’s a charity that keeps on giving, spreading solidarity, compassion and holiday cheer among homeless women locally and across the North Island.
The Campbell River-based Shoebox Project is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, bringing a sense of joy, belongingness and hope to the vulnerable just in time for Christmas.
While a number of Shoebox Project chapters will be distributing gift-filled shoeboxes, the local chapter is opting for gift cards in light of the ongoing pandemic.
Coordinator Alison Skrepneck says the goal is to deliver 525 gift cards valuing $50 to local women.
In fact, a total of 450 will be distributed throughout Campbell River, with 75 throughout Port Hardy and the North Island.
“It was really hard to decide whether to provide gift cards for vulnerable women in our community this holiday season like we did last year, or shoeboxes,” explains Skrepneck.
“I know how much donors have really enjoyed the personal touch of creating shoeboxes for local vulnerable women over the years, however, I was really concerned about everyone’s safety during the pandemic.”
That said, Skrepneck’s now putting out a call for community support.
In 2020, The Shoebox Project delivered over $15,000 worth of gifts to 15 organizations locally. This year, organizers find there’s increased demand.
People can now make donations online, create a #VirtualShoebox, or drop off gifts cards no more than $50 in value.
In Campbell River, Coastal Community Credit Union at Discovery Harbour, La Tee Da Lingerie on Shoppers Row and Coho Books in Willow Point are collecting gift cards until Dec. 8.
For those on the North Island, the North Island Crisis & Counselling Centre Society on Beverly Parnham Way in Port Hardy is collecting gift cards.
“I really hope that members of the community will recognize the importance and significance of their donations and will generously donate so that local women in need will feel that they are not forgotten this holiday season,” Skrepneck adds.