Beginning on Friday, November 29th, The Shoebox Project for Women will once again be collecting donations of Shoeboxes benefitting local women who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. The Shoebox Project for Women collects and distributes gift-filled Shoeboxes to women impacted by homelessness. Each Shoebox is filled with items valued at $50 that can enhance self-worth and reduce isolation.
Founded in 2011 in Toronto, Canada by Jessica, Caroline, Katyand Vanessa Mulroney, The Shoebox Project now delivers over 46,000 gifts annually to hundreds of communities across Canada, the US, and the United Kingdom. In NYC our partner shelters are The Bowery Mission, WIN, Sanctuary for Families, Hopper Home and Huntington House.
The idea is simple: pack a Shoebox with about $50 worth of gifts that any woman might enjoy, drop it off before December 13th, and The Shoebox Project will deliver it to a local women’s shelter or another community agency serving vulnerable women in time for the holidays.
The truth about homelessness in New York City:
- Every night, nearly 60,000 people go to bed in a homeless shelter in New York City – 22,000 of whom are children
- 80% of homeless mothers have experienced domestic violence as adults.
- On average, 12,585 families with children went to bed in a New York City homeless shelter each night in 2018
These Shoeboxes go to women who have escaped sex trafficking, domestic violence, and are on a path of healing. Many of these women feel alone, because they have lost family and friends due to the controlling nature of their domestic partners. These Shoeboxes come at a perfect time, as they give them a moment to get out of survival mode and focus on themselves.
Shoeboxes should include a combination of practical items like toiletries, mitts and socks, and “little luxuries,” like bath and beauty products, accessories and gift cards. Donors are also asked to include a personal message of support or a warm greeting in their Shoebox to help their Shoebox recipient feel special.
The NYC Chapter of The Shoebox Project began in 2015 and is 100% volunteer-run. In its first Holiday Drive, it delivered 286 shoeboxes to shelters throughout NYC, and by the 2018 Holiday Drive, The Shoebox Project grew to 1,568 shoeboxes! Co-chairs and husband and wife, Verunka and Jacob Fierro, are a formidable team. Verunka herself, grew up in a poor, violent environment and experienced domestic violence in her adult life. “I think knowing that our Shoeboxes get in the hands of these women, knowing that our outreach events give these women time they need…not only heals them, but heals me too,” says Verunka.
“Through The Shoebox Project, I’ve learned about the true story of homelessness in NYC. It’s made a lasting impact on my life and shown me what true strength looks like. I’m proud to be part of something that makes real impact,” says Jacob.
Community members interested in donating a Shoebox or participating in other ways can visit www.shoeboxprojectusa.org/nyc.html for more detailed information.
2019 NYC drop-off locations (Nov 29-Dec 13):
BELLA NJ office, 479 RT-79, Suite 6-A, Morganville, NJ 07751
Bareburger (multiple locations),
Manhattan, 1370 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10021
Manhattan, W46th Street, New York, NY 10036
Manhattan, 1313 W57th Street, New York, NY 10019
Parkslope, 170 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Cobble Hill, 149 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Ditmars, 23-01 31st Street, Astoria, NY 11105
Astoria, 33-21 31st Avenue, Astoria, NY 1103
CrossFit Queens, 2550 31st, Astoria, NY 11102
The Ritz Plaza (Apartment Building), 235 W 48th Street, New York, NY 10036
Ice NYC Upper East Side, 330 E59th Street, New York, NY 10022
Lucille Roberts Gym, 70-20 Austin Street, Forest Hills, NY 11375
Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi’s Office, 70-50 Austin Street, Ste 118, Forest Hills, NY 11375
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