Richmond's Shoebox Project for vulnerable women in full flow

The third annual Shoebox Project for vulnerable women is well underway in Richmond.

Started up locally by Richmondite Kathy Howarth two years ago, the drive collects and distributes gifts to fill a shoebox for women who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness in communities across the city.

Similar efforts take place with other Shoebox Projects across Canada and the U.S.

Each shoebox is filled with items - with a total value of $50 - that any woman can enjoy, but may not splurge on for herself in difficult times.

Over the last two years, they’ve collected more than 600 shoeboxes, which were distributed through CHIMO, Turning Point, Salvation Army and other organizations within the community.

Many locals join in the efforts, including the Richmond GirlsU14 Redbulls, who helped with shoebox collections at Hugh Boyd on Tuesday evening.

However, if you missed the drop-off earlier this week, you can still very much contribute by dropping off a completed shoebox or items that can be used in one at four locations listed below until Dec. 11.

  • Steveston Real Estate Group, 12235 No. 1 Rd.;
  • Sportstown Soccer Shop, Ironwood Plaza, 120-11700 Steveston Highway;
  • Coast Capital Savings, Richmond Centre Branch;
  • Coast Capital Savings, 11911 Cambie Rd. 

Here's a quick list of ideas for people to include in a shoebox and a list of items to avoid:

Suggested Items to Include in a shoebox:

•  Something warm: socks, mitts, scarf, hat, hand warmers

•  Something sweet: nut-free chocolate and candy (not alcohol-filled)

•  Cough drops, multivitamins

•  Body or hand lotion, soaps, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss

•  Brush, comb, shampoo, conditioner

•  Nail polish, mascara, eye shadow, lipstick, lip balm

•  Purse-sized Kleenex, small cosmetic bag

•  Gift cards (Tim Hortons, Shoppers, McDonalds, etc).  Please write the amount on the card or include the receipt

•  Bus tickets

•  Journals, colouring books, pens, coloured pencils

•  Supportive message

Please don’t include:

•         Used goods and hotel samples

•         Sized clothing (i.e. S, M, L, XL)

•         Mouthwash or hand-sanitizers containing alcohol

•         Bubble bath or bath bombs, as most shelters do not have bathtubs

•         Candles

•         Foundations or concealers

•         Razors

•         Books

•         Anything opened or not packaged

If someone is contributing a full shoebox, they should wrap the lid and bottom separately (since each box has to be inspected) and avoid using bows (since they get crushed in transit).  

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