08 Dec Shoebox Project For Shelters
On a brisk Saturday afternoon in early December, I headed to a quiet street in Toronto’s east end. As I rang the doorbell, I could hear the muffled sounds of laughter and buzzing activity inside. The cozy house was packed with women, children and cuddly babies. Delicious scents wafted in the air and the tables strewn with wrapping paper, boxes and tape. Forty women, many of whom were strangers, worked together to create gift boxes for Shoebox Project. The project “collects and distributes gifts in the form of Shoeboxes to women who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness in communities across Canada and the US.”
Seventy-two unique boxes were designed for women in Toronto, “with items valued at $50 that can enhance self-esteem and reduce feelings of isolation for women in crisis.” Every box included a hand-written note. As I made my way through the house, I noticed a young girl writing a message, complete with hand-drawn hearts. As she busily carried on, I caught a glimpse of her words:
“You are strong. You are loved.”
Wishing these women peace, hope for tomorrow and love, sweet love.
Since 2011, The Shoebox Project has distributed over 91,000 Shoeboxes, valued at over 4 million dollars.