News Local

Shoebox project about women helping women

Cameron MacLeod, 24 hours

Britanny Wong shows off donations for Vancouver's first annual The Shoebox Project drive for women's shelters. (PHOTO COURTESY OF BRITTANY WONG)

Britanny Wong shows off donations for Vancouver's first annual The Shoebox Project drive for women's shelters. (PHOTO COURTESY OF BRITTANY WONG)


The Shoebox Project, which collects donations for women in shelters across Canada, has set up shop in Vancouver for the first time.

The volunteer-run organization believes “Small gestures do make a difference” and collects shoeboxes full of basic and luxury goods for women at the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.

“After reading the Huffington Post article by (Shoebox Project co-founder) Caroline Lapham I was so inspired that I emailed her right away and offered to bring the Project to Vancouver,” said local coordinator Brittany Wong who has established three drop-off locations.

“It struck a chord with me because I used to volunteer at the Vancouver Rape Crisis Centre and this this is women helping women. This is the time of year that we spend with friends and family and I just want to provide a little happiness to other women in our community who aren’t as lucky.”

The Downtown Eastside Women’s Shelter has asked Wong for 500 boxes this year so each woman who passes through their doors this month has access to a gift box. The deadline to give boxes has been extended to Dec. 17 and drop-off locations can be found at

“We don’t just give essentials, but we add the special touches that make a woman feel like a woman. Nail polish, shampoo, nice-smelling body lotions, etc.” she explained.

The Shoebox Project was founded last year by four sisters-in-law in Toronto with a goal of collecting 156 boxes for women at the Red Door Shelter. After sending out a letter to friends and family they ended up collecting 396 boxes. This year they have established collection locations in Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, London, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver.

Due to rapid and overwhelming growth, The Shoebox Project is playing a bit of catch up, trying to quickly work towards non-profit status in Canada. They will be able to provide receipts at that time.

Vancouver: 2305 McLean Dr. (Mon-Fri 8 A.M. to 6 P.M., Sat. 11 A.M. to 6 P.M.)

Downtown: 1088 Richards St. (available on select evenings and weekends; email to confirm drop-off)

West Vancouver: 303-545 Clyde Ave. (Mon-Fri 11 A.M. to 4 P.M.)

What to put in a shoebox?

Make your shoebox as fun you would like, but keep the value at approximately $50.

Here are suggestions on what to include:

  • Body or hand lotion
  • Make-up (mascara, lipstick and nail polish. No concealer or foundations)
  • Chocolates, cookies, candies
  • Gloves, hat, scarf
  • Perfume
  • SkyTrain or bus tickets
  • Phone card
  • Gift certificates (include receipt.)

Feel free to decorate your shoebox with a bow or ribbon, but don’t wrap it because it must be opened for inspection before being distributed.


Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions