Submitted by the Muskoka Shoebox Project
Muskoka we did it! 1449 Shoeboxes for Women.
For the fifth year in a row, you donated and shopped and wrapped and together we delivered shoeboxes to local agencies helping women in Muskoka. We hit our goal and in addition were able to meet the adjusted holiday hopes of these agencies.
Muskoka, be proud that your efforts are reaching women in need in Wahta, Dwight, Lake of Bays, Dorset, Utterson, Port Sydney, Port Severn, Huntsville, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and places in between.
We couldn’t achieve this without a lot of help, first starting with said agencies who work with these women all year round.
We need to recognize the service groups for their contributions, the retailers, knitting groups and soap makers for their generosity. We are grateful for the small businesses, warehouse facility and drop off locations for their involvement, as well the local media who continue to tell our story.
Our Shoebox elves who check, wrap and touch up these boxes are respectful of this task and tireless in their commitment to see it through, smiling and occasionally singing while they do it. Those that help us with pickup and deliveries, again, they treat these Shoeboxes gently, ensuring the boxes still have the glitter and ribbon. And the glitter… need I say more?
Most of all we thank our shoebox donors: without you the Muskoka Shoebox Project simply wouldn’t be. Preschoolers (and their caregivers), Brownie troops, High School, College students, you are learning the gift of giving and stewardship of your community. Employee, social groups and friends who held Shoebox parties large and small, each and every box matters – thank you for your involvement, as always, you drive these campaigns.
We thank you all, as these boxes have been packed with the same care you would as if these were for your grandma, mom, aunt, sister or daughter, remembering that all the recipients wear at least one of those hats.
The charm of the Muskoka Shoebox Project is that it brings our community’s efforts together for the needs of our community, it is the right thing to do.
To the recipients, we are hoping these shoeboxes make you smile this Christmas, that they give you belief in yourself and hope for the future.
Barb, Joanne, Penny
What is The Muskoka Shoebox Project?
The idea is simple: donors pack a shoebox with about $50 worth of gifts that any woman might enjoy that can enhance self-worth and reduce isolation. The Muskoka Shoebox Project delivers the shoeboxes to local women’s shelters and community agencies serving vulnerable women in time for the holidays. Shoeboxes are filled with items that would help any woman feel special: make-up, skin care products, good quality soaps and shampoos, chocolates, and warm socks and mittens, to name a few suggested items. Donors are also asked to include a personal message of support or a warm greeting in their shoebox to help their shoebox recipient feel special.
Why It Matters
For women who have been displaced from their homes and estranged from their families, the holidays and special occasions can be particularly challenging. Often, women feel disconnected from society, forgotten and alone. Reducing the feelings of isolation and loneliness faced by women accessing shelters is one of the most important outcomes of The Shoebox Project. A shoebox gift is a powerful reminder for a woman that she has not been forgotten and that she remains a valued and respected member of her community. For those giving gifts, The Shoebox Project is an opportunity to give back to someone in your community. It’s a small gesture of kindness that has an immediate and positive impact on the woman who receives it. The act of creating shoeboxes tends to bring people together and works to give a human face to the broad issues of poverty and homelessness.
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