About Our Charity:
Q: Are you affiliated with a church?
A: Nope! The Shoebox Project is a non-religious, unaffiliated charity, based on the values of equality, diversity and respect for all.
Q: Aren’t you that charity that provides gifts to children overseas?
A: Nope! There are a few different charities that provide gifts in the form of Shoeboxes, however The Shoebox Project for Shelters distributes gifts locally. Ie. the gifts you donate are delivered to shelters and support agencies right in your own community! As well, our Shoeboxes are intended for women in need, not children.
Q: Why don’t you provide gifts to men? Don’t they deserve to feel special too?
A: Of course they do! We operate under the basic principle that all people are deserving of basic human rights: shelter, safety, dignity and respect. However, as an organization, we have committed to addressing the unique challenges faced by women and girls. Learn more here.
Q: Where will my Shoebox be delivered?
A: Our Shoeboxes are distributed to women who are homeless or at risk, including emergency shelters, shelters for victims of abuse, and a wide range of community support services such as drop-ins, transitional & supportive housing for women living with a variety of challenges.
Do you accept gifts year-round or only during the Holiday season?
In some locations we collect Shoeboxes for occasions like International Women’s Day or Mother’s Day, but most of our chapters only run gift drives during the holiday season. If you have an idea for an off-season initiative with your company, school or group of friends, we want to hear about it and will try our best to make it happen. Just contact us to discuss!
About Making a Shoebox:
Q: Why are essentials like maxi pads, tampons, and hotel samples on the “do not include” list when shelters are in need of these items?
A: The main objective of a Shoebox, especially during the holiday season, is to make its recipient feel special and loved. Although we recognize the importance of personal hygiene items, they do not always convey the message, "you are worth it!" If you'd like to donate these items, please keep them separate from your Shoebox and we'll make sure they get delivered in bulk to a nearby women's shelter.
Q: How do I wrap my Shoebox?
A: We recommend using a Shoebox with a removable lid instead of sport boxes with a lid that folds over as they're MUCH easier to wrap. Check out our handy tutorial on YouTube!
Q: Should we individually wrap each item in our Shoebox?
A: Items should be placed unwrapped in your Shoebox, as the contents go through an inspection process before being delivered.
Q: Can I use a boot box?
A: No. Boot boxes are not accepted as they are much bigger than the average shoebox and our aim is to create gift boxes that are equal in value.
Q: Do I need to put tissue inside my box?
A: Please do! We find that a little tissue paper helps a Shoebox look beautiful and festive.
Q: If I am including a gift card in my Shoebox, how much should it be for?
A: Any denomination is appreciated; however, we suggest $10 - $15. Please make sure the amount is indicated on the gift card.
Q: Some of my gift items have the price imprinted on them. Should we cover the price with marker or stickers or leave it as is?
A: Yes, please remove all price tags or cover them with a marker, just as you would with a gift to a loved one.
Q: For items like lip balm and hairbrushes, should we remove the packaging to make it easier to pack in the box?
A: If possible, keep items in their original packaging so that we know they are new and unused.
Q: Do you accept donations of clothing?
A: Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to collect and donate articles of clothing to shelters. The only types of clothing we accept in our Shoeboxes are new, unused accessories like hats, scarves, gloves and socks. (And please no shoes!)
Q: What should I write in my card?
A: Keep in mind that your Shoebox could be going to a woman of any economic or cultural background, religion, or age and that every woman's circumstances that led them to seek shelter are different. A simple note to wish her well and to let her know that you're thinking of her can go a long way for a woman in crisis. You can sign your first name or leave it anonymous.
Q: Why does the value of my Shoebox have to be $50?
A: Although every gift we deliver is unique, we want to make sure that the quality and quantity of items is roughly the same for each woman receiving a Shoebox. If you aren't prepared to spend $50, it's a great activity to do with a friend. Do you have more than $50 in items that you'd like to contribute? Why not make two Shoeboxes?!