Donate a gift-filled shoebox for women in need

For the eight consecutive year, The Allstate Foundation of Canada is supporting The Shoebox Project for Women by collecting shoeboxes filled with essential everyday items and small luxuries.

“This year, we are encouraging our supporters to ‘Cultivate a Culture of Care,’” says Lesley Hendry, executive director of The Shoebox Project.

A Shoebox Project gift is a powerful reminder for women experiencing or at risk of homelessness that they have not been forgotten. We believe that our gift drives set in motion a chain reaction of kindness and compassion that brings communities together, promotes equity, and inspires resilience and self-motivation in each Shoebox recipient.”

Each showbox must be valued at $50 and include new items only. Recommended gifts include a $10 gift card to a grocery or drug store, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, deodorant, socks, cosmetics and a self-care item such as a journal or face mask.

All items must fit within a standard-sized shoebox or a decorative memory box measuring about 14 by eight by five inches and must be unsealed so it can be opened for inspection. Each shoebox should include a simple but kind card or note to let the recipient know you care. The envelope should also be unsealed. You can also donate a virtual shoebox through a financial donation.

“Not only do we encourage our employees and customers to donate and volunteer, we also work in partnership with The Shoebox Project to share resources to raise awareness about issues of homelessness in Canada and how it disproportionally affects women of colour, women living with a disability, as well as women experiencing some form of violence,” says Allstate Insurance Company of Canada President and CEO London Bradley, also president of The Allstate Foundation of Canada.

According to The Shoebox Project, 44 per cent of Violence Against Women shelters are full on any given day, 30 per cent Canadians experiencing homelessness come from Indigenous communities, about 96 per cent of women experiencing homelessness have dealt with some form of violence. In Canada, there are more women than men with disabilities living on low incomes or in poverty and 28 per cent of women-led households need safe and affordable housing for themselves and their children.

In Markham, you can drop off your shoebox at 72 Copper Creek Dr., Unit 109 until December 15. For a full list of participating Allstate agencies and their drop-off dates, click the link here. Since 2015, Allstate Canada and The Allstate Foundation of Canada have collected more than 9,000 gift-filled shoeboxes and donated more than $175,000 in support of The Shoebox Project. To learn how to make the perfect shoebox gift or discover other ways to support The Shoebox Project, follow Allstate Canada on Facebook and Instagram or visit

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