Shoebox Project supports at-risk women

Deadline for submitting gift is Dec. 8

Organizers of the annual Shoebox Project for vulnerable women in Haldimand, Norfolk and Brant is Dec. 8.

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Organizers of the 2019 Shoebox Project would like to hear from individuals in Norfolk, Haldimand and Brant who want to make Christmas a little brighter for at-risk women.

The local Shoebox Project is collecting shoeboxes containing a mix of specific gift items worth $50.

The local drive was established several years ago and has since grown in leaps and bounds. The 2018 campaign collected 1,028 shoeboxes. The goal this Christmas is 1,350.

“We couldn’t help as many at-risk women within the counties without the support of volunteers, community members and small businesses,” Kylie Vandendool, co-ordinator of the Shoebox Project in Haldimand, Norfolk and Brant, said in a news release. “Please consider filling a shoebox for an at-risk woman in our community this holiday season.”

Many of the shoeboxes are delivered to women’s shelters in the local area.

Drop-off locations include branches of the Norfolk Public Library in Simcoe, Port Rowan, Delhi, Waterford and Port Dover, branches of the Haldimand Public Library in Dunnville and Caledonia and Nigh’s Concrete on Elizabeth Street in Jarvis.

In the Brantford area, shoebox gifts can be dropped off at the Brantford Public Library and Brantford Toyota on Woodyatt Drive. Donations in Six Nations can be made at radio station CKRZ 100.3 FM on Chiefswood Road.

Organizers of the Shoebox Project have specific items in mind for gift packages. Bearing in mind the $50 spending limit, gifts can include the following: gift cards, jewelry, personal grooming items such as a hair brush, fun items such as a deck of playing cards or a book of crossword puzzles, a fancy chocolate treat, toiletries, basic makeup items or  something cozy such as warm socks and mittens.

Perhaps the most important item of all is a hand-written note to an anonymous recipient expressing solidarity and offering encouragement. A major objective of the Shoebox Project is to enhance self-esteem and reduce feelings of isolation at a difficult time of the year for some.

Participants are asked to exclude used items, items containing alcohol, sharp items and personal hygiene products.

Donors are asked to submit their shoebox unsealed. The gift will be properly packaged once it has been inspected. The deadline for submitting shoebox gifts is Dec. 8.