How Do I Show I Care? It’s Easy!
Welcome to the Manitoba Shoebox Project for Women!
Can You Say, “It’s a Wrap”? We Sure Can!
What an amazing 2018 Holiday Shoebox Drive campaign we had! While Shoebox donation contributions started off soooo very slowly this year, they came in fast and furious towards the end!
“Thank You” so much to all who participated in making this year another great success! With the caring support of our generous community of individual, group, and corporate donors, there are 1,699 deserving women currently facing dark and challenging times who have had the acknowledgement and hopeful comfort knowing that they are not forgotten and are valued.
Delivering “Love in a Shoebox” is what all of you have accomplished by your thoughtfulness and gracious act…we are so grateful, as we know the recipients are. More than you can imagine!
With an additional 43 Shoebox donations given in recognition of Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day celebrations earlier in the year, the Manitoba Chapter delivered a grand total of 1,742 Shoebox gifts in 2018!
We could not have accomplished our mission without the loyal and continuing support and encouragement from our dedicated corporate supporters, and we are beyond appreciative.
Key to our operation is the continued support of St. Eugene Parish who provides hall space and a staging area for our operation. Their graciousness as we ‘take-over’ the Parish hall in invaluable…”Thank you” St. Eugene for 4 years of encouragement!
Seven of The Winnipeg Public Library Branches, Headingley Municipal Library, Oakbank Pharmasave, and Pilates Manitoba once again graciously participated as drop-off locations and with pleasure we welcomed HUNA Apothecary, and QX104 and sister station 94.3 The Drive as 2 new drop-off points! A total of 1,144 Shoebox donations were dropped off at these locations! We know this is a lot of work for the organizations involved, and we are grateful for your dedication to our endeavours! Thank you!
Mid West Packaging Limited once again provided the necessary packing cartons to ensure that Shoeboxes were contained properly for shipping within and outside of the city. Birkett Freight Solutions and Gardewine graciously transported the packed Shoeboxes to our rural and northern partners in lightening-speed time to ensure the joy would arrive in time for parties and Christmas gifting.
Getting our message ‘out there’ is so important and in addition to the space graciously dedicated to that at our drop-off locations, we are also very fortunate to have had print and radio media behind us once again this year! We are grateful to Canstar News’ reporter Simon Fuller of The Lance for continuing his interest for our initiative and making sure our community knows about our annual Drive campaigns. We also had an article written about our initiative by reporter Anne Hawe of The Metro which was a surprise treat! Amazing is an understatement for the support by QX104 and 94.3 The Drive this year. Daily PSAs were broadcast from November 22nd through to December 9th giving sound to our very impacting messaging. I would also be remiss if I did not mention The Winnipeg Foundation’s radio program River City 360 and my interviewer Robert Zirk! Robert shared our messaging on his program broadcast on CJNU and we are grateful for their involvement. Promotion and education about The Shoebox Project for Women is integral to our success and we are beyond thankful to these individuals and organizations!
Donations this year of the oh-so-desired knitted goods were also very welcome. Knitting group ‘The Knitwits’, knitters Penny, and Dorothy shared their talents and time by providing a beautiful array of toques, scarves, mitts, headbands, and neck warmers aplenty! The women receiving these gifts are always so appreciative, and we are so welcoming of these donations!
We also had gracious donations of ‘Made in Manitoba’ products; Hand made soaps from My Valhalla Soaps and Lotions, Huna Apothecary’s Organic Cocoa Lip Balm, and beautiful pieces of jewellery created by Rose. All of these beautiful products we know will be a wonderful treat for every recipient! Thank you all for sharing your creativity and giving so freely of your talents!
While our goal is always to inspire donations of composed Shoebox gifts, we are absolutely thrilled when we receive monetary donations to help advance our purchasing power of items to supplement Shoeboxes, and much needed supplies required to keep our operation going. In addition to Pilates Manitoba serving as a drop-off location, owner Annabel Scott, and instructor Joy along with their clients got behind our initiative by holding special class events and donated an amazing total of $686.00 through their efforts! We are also very grateful to The Headingley Fire and Rescue Department for their donation of $500.00 raised by the Department through their annual ‘Run for Wishes’ charity run. The Department then chooses a charity of their choice to donate their proceeds to, and we were the very lucky benefactors this year! Some folks also donated through CanadaHelps to our Chapter and we are so appreciative! How fortunate we are to have the support of these organizations and other individual donors that believe in our work and initiative…”Thank You” to all for your encouragement!
As we close out another Drive campaign and indeed another year, we are reminded of the need of so many women facing challenging situations in our community and beyond, but also of the need in the hearts of many of our community members to reach out and help soothe that need. We are buoyed by the continuing generosity, support and compassion that our volunteers, supporters, and donors gift us with year after year…please know you keep us encouraged and believing in what we do.
“Thank you” to all who believe in The Shoebox Project for Women for your gifts of caring, compassion, and recognition…these are priceless offerings.
May 2019 Bring Much Happiness, Hope, Promise and Good Health…to All.
If you have any questions, or would like more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mothers and Daughters, Sisters, ‘Big and Little Sisters’, Role Models… Precious Connections
This year, our 2018 Holiday Shoebox Drive campaign seemed to particularly inspire the participation and generosity of several dynamic duos, triples, and multiples!
We are so grateful for the lessons of giving and compassion that mothers instilled in their young daughters as they shopped and composed beautiful and thoughtful Shoebox gifts together, and for the caring and meaningful gestures inspired by the recognition of another less fortunate woman’s hardship that resulted in action from grown daughters and mothers.
And we have seen the kindness and proof that a ‘Big’ Sister does not need to share blood lines with a ‘Little’ Sister to care and love as deeply for each other, and to set examples for a young girl blossoming into a wonderful young woman.
While we may not know all of your names behind the scenes, we are very grateful to all of you including these inspirational Mums, daughters, and sisters! To Paulette and Jacqueline; Louise, Julie, and Carly; Angela and Saskia; Barbara and her daughters…and ‘sister’ friends; and Jasmine and Abby.
Taking on the role of a model and example to look up to, and teaching lessons of empathy, understanding and action is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. This is exactly what teacher Ms. Lacey Forbes and her colleagues undertake by overseeing Sisler High School’s Girls Empowerment Group. For several years, young girls participating in this special group have actively participated in our initiative and this year was no different with a total of 64 Shoebox gifts composed for women in need throughout our community. As importantly, we are buoyed by the knowledge that the lesson of attaining empowerment, tempered with giving and compassion will be carried forward by future generations of young women.
Our belief in this is founded in the amazing group of members from the University Women’s Club Alumnae. Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, empowerment of women remains a priority and we were once again invited by Sandra Millen to historical 54 Westgate to pick-up Shoebox gifts composed by Club members...surely a testament that ‘sister-hood’ giving does not stop, even long after leaving school!
One very special moment has stayed with me admittedly. Six year-old Kitson and her Mum, Lindsay worked very hard to compose a ‘perfect’ Shoebox gift by shopping together and picking out beautiful items, then wrapping the Shoebox with Kitson adding her special touch! Unfortunately, they had missed the deadline and Lindsay called asking if there were any other way to get her daughter’s Shoebox to us, as Kitson was very upset. Now…how could we say “No” to a 6 year-old?! Lindsay delivered the Shoebox to the hall and we carried on! What was to come next during the Shoebox’s inspection was the hand-made card that Kitson had made, and I think all of the lessons that Mum Lindsay has been teaching her daughter came through clear and evident…for in that little 6 year-old, there already beats a heart of gold and our real hope for the future generation! I believe Kitson, with her tender wisdom, summed up what we all want for the women we strive to deliver some joy, hope, and acknowledgment to each holiday and Christmas, and beyond. But I’ll let you be your own judge…
In the News
New Budget – New Shoe(Boxes)!
April 11, 2017 was Budget Day for Manitoba, and Finance Minister Cameron Friesen chose to bypass the unique Canadian tradition of wearing new, or newly re-soled shoes to present the new financial strategy plan. Instead, Minister Friesen and each member of the PC Caucus honoured our local Chapter with 36 beautifully assembled, and thoughtful gift Shoeboxes at the Manitoba Legislature! In addition, Minister Friesen announced that the Legislature will serve as an official drop off location until April 30th for any other workplaces – or individuals - that care to take up his challenge of making Shoebox donations to our charitable initiative.
Thank you so much Minister Friesen and members of the PC Caucus for your caring and generous Shoebox donations, and most of all for shining a spotlight on The Shoebox Project for Shelters. Eva and I were so happy to be invited to attend, and participate in the event! We are thrilled, and grateful for this opportunity!
Our local government partnered with Shoppers Drug Mart and the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) to unite, and make a clear statement that women in shelter, and those at-risk of homelessness in our communities far and wide, do matter, are valued, and are important members of our society. They are not forgotten.
On hand, representing Shoppers Drug Mart, was Ms. Marilyn Sidhu, Pharmacist/Owner of Shoppers Drug Mart, Dominion Centre. We would like to express our heart-felt thanks to Ms. Sidhu for her encouraging words of support for our organization, and for being part of a corporation that is always willing to lend a hand, right across the country. Product donations, special event drives, initiative promotion…we could go on! We are very appreciative!
Another very special acknowledgement was conveyed by Mr. Chris Pennycook, president of the MREA. Mr. Pennycook paid tribute to our own Chapter Founder, Eva Whitmore, by detailing many of the reasons why Eva was chosen as the 2017 MREA Shelter Foundation Award winner. This is a very special honour, and we are very grateful to the MREA for not only reinforcing the importance of the work that we do, but in particular, the achievements that Eva has accomplished over the last four years, and the impact her efforts have made on almost 7,000 women. Mr. Pennycook also personally issued a challenge to the Realtors of the MREA to donate Shoeboxes, and participate in our initiative. Thank you…we are so honoured!
We would also like to thank Minister Rochelle Squires for the lovely job she did as MC for the morning’s event…it was perfect!
And finally, I’d like to extend a personal note of appreciation to Alysia and Morgan for providing me with wonderful support and encouragement as I prepared for this very important event! Your professionalism and organization were amazing!
This truly was a very special event for Eva and me, and please know we are bolstered in the knowledge that you all care, and humbled to be chosen as your charity partner. “Thank you”!
I’d like to close with a quote from Minister Cameron Friesen…
“In our country's 150th year, it remains our hope that every Manitoban will take stock of their own ability to give to a charity or organization of their choice. Together we can make a precious difference in the life of someone less fortunate."
Homelessness in Manitoba
Thank You to our Sponsors & Partners!
Make a Shoebox
Each Shoebox is special and made unique with your personal touch. It's fun and rewarding and every Shoebox helps a woman experiencing homelessness remember that she is loved and valuable.
Become an Organizer
Making a Shoebox is a great activity to do with your friends, family, coworkers, or any other group of people in your life! Host a party and do something good. Every Shoebox counts!
Items or in-kind donations are gladly accepted and will be used to fill even more Shoeboxes. If your company would like to donate, please contact us.
Spread the Word
We need help to spread the word in your community. Please consider giving us a shout out or sharing what you're doing on social media. It really helps!