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Charity asks for shoeboxes filled with gifts for Nanaimo women at risk

Shoebox Project has a goal to collect 180 shoeboxes filled with gifts this holiday season
The Nanaimo Shoebox Project hopes to collect shoeboxes full of gifts to support women at risk this holiday season, starting on Nov. 20. (Submitted photo)

The upcoming Nanaimo Shoebox Project will ask mid-Island residents to consider giving to women living in shelters and supported housing over the holidays.

Starting on Nov. 20, the charity will be filling shoe boxes with gifts to give to the Island Crisis Care Society and Risebridge.

“As the number of Canadians unable to pay for basic necessities continues to increase, the strain on the local shelters and community agencies we support is palpable,” said the project’s executive director, Lesley Hendry, in a news release. “ At the Shoebox Project, we are not only challenged by an increased demand for Shoebox gifts and other in-kind donations, but also by increased operating costs, reduced donations and fewer volunteers. Next to 2020, this is the second-most challenging year we have faced in our 12-year history.”

Last year the charity managed to collect 120 boxes for Island Crisis Care, which then distributed them to residents in supportive housing facilities including Mary’s Place and Samaritan Place; this year they have a goal of 180 boxes.

When putting together a shoe box, the charity wants participants to wrap the top and bottom separately, to consider writing a heartfelt message, and to keep the box valued at about $50. They suggest toiletries, gift cards, socks or other winter accessories, candy, self-care items, and cosmetics like nail polish or mascara.

Those looking to donate a box can do so at the Nanaimo North Town Centre admininstration office, Thrifty Foods at Port Place Mall, CurVa-Voom, and Serge and Sew. Donations will be accepted from Nov. 20 to Dec. 13. Those who can’t reach a drop-off location can contact to organize a pick-up.

READ ALSO: Permanent supportive housing building opening on Nanaimo’s Nicol Street

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