The Shoebox Project for Women was founded in 2011, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada by four sisters-in-law: Jessica, Caroline, Vanessa and Katy Mulroney. The family had noticed that there were many opportunities to provide gifts to children experiencing homelessness during the holiday season, but there were no such gift drives for their mothers. Wanting to make the holiday season a little brighter for some local women in their community, they decided to ask friends and acquaintances to fill a Shoebox with gifts for the holidays – some little luxuries that would bring a smile to any woman's face . That first holiday season, their goal was to collect 156 Shoeboxes; just enough to serve the women living at one Toronto family shelter. By word of mouth and the power of social media, they ended up receiving 400 Shoeboxes that year - enough gifts for women accessing four local shelters. Donors also started spontaneously including notes of support and encouragement in their Shoeboxes, which were especially appreciated by their recipients. The Mulroney sisters quickly realized that their modest little "Shoebox Project" had legs, and a national movement was officially born.
To uplift and empower women who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness through in-kind support, education and community participation.
To foster equitable communities where all women are seen, valued, and treated with dignity and compassion.
Through volunteer-led gift drives that benefit women who are impacted by homelessness, we build compassionate and connected communities
By distributing essentials of daily living to shelters and community agencies, we support women and gender-diverse people facing income inequality.
By building awareness and educating youth, we challenge stigmas, fight discrimination, and promote equity.