The Shoebox Project continues to support local at-risk women virtually this holiday season

The Shoebox Project continues to support local at-risk women virtually this holiday season

To The Haldimand Press

HALDIMAND—Annual shoebox collection continues to be suspended due to COVID-19, but the Shoebox Project is still calling on supporters to help deliver holiday cheer and a sense of belonging to local women impacted by homelessness.

The Haldimand Norfolk Brant Chapter of The Shoebox Project for Women officially launched this month. Local Coordinator, Kylie Vandendool, is determined not to let COVID-19 stop her from supporting local women and believes the need has never been more urgent.

In light of the continued risk surrounding COVID-19, the Haldimand Norfolk Brant Shoebox Project has made the difficult decision to continue with the holiday gift card drive. Local women impacted by homelessness, they say, need our support more than ever.

“COVID-19 has created a range of unique vulnerabilities for people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness, and like any societal crisis, it has disproportionately affected women,” says Lesley Hendry, Executive Director. “We want women living in shelters to feel proud of their strength and resiliency during these difficult times, and to be reminded that they belong to a community that cares.”

Supporters interested in donating a holiday gift directly to a local woman living in a shelter will have several opportunities to do so, including:

  • making a financial donation to their local Shoebox Project chapter
  • donating a $50 gift card, or;
  • designing and curating a virtual gift on The Shoebox Project website.

Funds raised by the Haldimand Norfolk Brant Shoebox Project will be used to purchase gift cards, which will be safely distributed to local women’s shelters in lieu of Shoeboxes for the holiday season.

Perhaps most importantly, donors are asked to include a message of support or a warm holiday greeting with their gift. The Shoebox Project believes that in a year defined by loneliness and isolation, these words of solidarity and affirmation could make the world of difference for someone spending their holidays in a shelter. Donors are also encouraged to share their messages on social media using the hashtag #VirtualShoebox, in hopes that others may find solace and strength in the kindness of strangers during these challenging days.

Last year, the Haldimand Norfolk Brant Shoebox Project delivered 728 gift cards accompanied with handwritten notes in lieu of Shoeboxes to local shelters and community outreach centres in support of local women at-risk of homelessness.

Community members interested in donating a virtual Shoebox or donating in other ways can visit the Shoebox Project website for more detailed information: 

shoeboxproject.ca/chapters/haldimand-norfolk-brant-counties

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