2021 marks a very important milestone for The Shoebox Project for Women: our 10-year Anniversary! The Shoebox Project began with just 400 gifts being delivered by one family in a rental truck. Since then, our network of passionate and dedicated volunteers has delivered gifts and essentials valued at 13.4 million dollars across Canada, the US and the UK!
We plan to celebrate this anniversary all year long with special events, new partnerships and exciting campaigns. We’ll be hearing stories from some of the people who have been impacted directly by The Shoebox Project over the past decade, as well as some of the incredibly generous volunteers and sponsors, to whom we owe much of our success.
So, make sure you are following us on social media and if you haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet, now is the time because you will NOT want miss an announcement this year!
We asked our Co-Founders, Caroline, Jessica, Katy and Vanessa to reflect on their experience starting The Shoebox Project and watching it grow over the past 10 years.
Here’s what they had to say:
“Two years ago, I met a woman working at a non-profit organization who had been homeless just a couple of years prior. She thanked me for a Shoebox she had received as a gift during that difficult time in her life, as it provided her with a moment of holiday joy. This exchange meant so much to me because it’s exactly what we hoped to accomplish when we started The Shoebox Project 10 years ago. The Shoebox Project started as a small idea, something that my family could do to help others. But it’s mission of connecting people to one another and bringing joy drew people in and led to the creation of a charity that provides gifts to women and girls in shelters — first across Canada, and now in other countries around the world. To this day, I still marvel about how such a simple idea grew into something I could never have dreamed of and one that has impacted so many in need.”
- Caroline Mulroney Lapham, Co-Founder
“Looking back after 10 years, I could have never dreamed of how the Shoebox Project would resonate around the world. The growth of our charity is due entirely to our incredible team of sponsors, coordinators and volunteers, without whom we would be exactly where we were in year one. When imagining Shoebox project ten years from now, I am torn. Ideally there would be no need for what we do. But until that day comes, we will be here, bringing a little bit of joy into the lives of those who deserve it most.”
- Jessica Mulroney, Co-Founder
"After our first year, I realized we had started something really special. We had reached out to a few friends and the response was overwhelming. It was still a small-scale operation but we were able to help people give love and necessities to women in need. There are so many women in shelters who have suffered immensely, and making someone feel loved and supported by their communities can have profound effects. I look forward to the next 10 years and expanding our mission!"
- Katy Mulroney, Co-Founder
“My fondest memory of us starting up The Shoebox Project is delivering boxes with my niece Thea directly to shelters. I loved the moments when we were all together, packing the boxes with our family & volunteers in Ben & Jessica’s garage. I also have always loved getting emails over the years from moms who enjoyed making these boxes with their children, and teaching them the importance of what they were doing. These notes & thoughts are special and show just how much love goes into each Shoebox. The grassroots nature of The Shoebox Project resonates with me most… How happy & special one of these boxes makes someone feel, perhaps when they need it most. Hopefully The Shoebox Project continues to grow without ever losing what makes it special. It’s global now, but it remains one person making an effort for someone they don’t know - Someone in need of the warmth and love that these Shoeboxes bring. We all know this is more important today than ever. The Shoebox Project is always top of mind. I enjoy connecting brands to the charity via our business Power of Privé, especially to raise funds and enhancing the profile of The Shoebox Project.”
- Vanessa Mulroney, Co-Founder