The Dec. 1 deadline for the Muskoka Shoebox Project is quickly approaching and organizers are still looking to collect more than 800 shoeboxes for local women affected by poverty and homelessness.
Organizer Jennifer Stevenson said collection has been slower than expected this year, likely due to the limits on gathering. They’ve collected less than 500 boxes so far, but Stevenson said they’re optimistic after several groups reached out to say they’ll be bringing more boxes to donate. They’re aiming to collect about 1,370 to 1,400 boxes to meet the needs of the women’s shelters and community agencies they support, and she said it’s been heartwarming to see the beautiful boxes created by and for locals.
“I think it is important to say that it is not too late to shop for the little luxuries that they would put in a shoebox,” Stevenson said. “If they cannot find a box, it has been a bit challenging, they can drop their gift off in a bag and we will box and wrap it.”
Each shoebox should contain about $50 worth of gifts, including sweet treats, toiletries, gift cards and cozy items like hats or mittens. Shoeboxes can be dropped off at businesses in Huntsville, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Bala and Port Carling before the deadline on Dec. 1.
People who don’t have time to shop can still participate by creating a virtual shoebox, which generates a financial donation to the project. Single items like body wash, shampoo, cozy socks and scarves can also be donated at any of the drop-off locations to help top up existing shoeboxes.
“We are working hard to meet our goal and the support of the community is imperative,” Stevenson said. “Every box donated to us stays in Muskoka and will be given to a local woman in need. Help spread a little joy this holiday season with someone less fortunate.”