This year’s Muskoka Shoebox Project raised 1,159 boxes of “little luxuries” for local women in need.
Ahead of the holidays, volunteers have been hard at work collecting, boxing, and wrapping the boxes, which were delivered to 15 community organizations helping Muskoka’s women.
“We are thrilled,” says Jennifer Stevenson, volunteer coordinator for the project. “We were close, getting towards the end, and we were a little bit nervous. But it always seems to come together and the boxes just kept rolling in. And even after our deadline, I was receiving calls saying somebody had a box and wanted to donate it, and of course we can always find a home for them.”
According to Stevenson, each box contained roughly $50 worth of items that women in a tight spot would appreciate, but might not prioritize or be able to afford.
“This can be sometimes the only gift they get,” says Stevenson. “They will provide for their families and their children before they’ll do something for themselves, so it’s so nice to have something that’s very specific to women, something to show them that they matter, and that their role in the community is important.”
Although this was the project’s eighth year, Stevenson says they’re still surprised by how giving the community is.
“Year after year, we are really overwhelmed by the abundance of people’s generosity,” says Stevenson. “We have great partners from the retail and service front, but it’s the people who deliver the boxes that really blow us away. They show up when they’re needed. This was a tough year for people, but they still gave.”