Holiday shoebox project sends gifts to women's shelters

The Shoebox Project for Shelters collects and distributes gifts to women living in shelters across Canada and the United States.

"It's what's inside that counts": Campaign sends gift boxes to shelters in southern New Brunswick

Shoeboxes are being filled with small gifts for women in shelters. (Alana Cole/CBC)

For women in some of New Brunswick's shelters this winter, there will be a little Christmas cheer under the tree this year.

The annual Shoe Box Project for Shelters collects and distributes gifts to women in shelters across Canada and the United States. Shelters serving the southern part of the province, including Moncton, Saint John, Sussex, St. Stephen and Fredericton are taking part this year. 

These women make a lot of sacrifices, so it's just something they wouldn't do for themselves.- Marta Cosman, Sheobox Project

Marta Cosman is one of the co-ordinators of the Shoe Box Project.

Speaking to Information Morning Saint John, Cosman said it's a small gesture that touches the lives of women in the midst of very difficult times in their lives.

"I know people personally that have been displaced and have been in these shelters for various reasons. It's a very difficult time and a lot of the focus — they have children — is on the children, and these women make a lot of sacrifices, so it's just something they wouldn't do for themselves."
Marta Cosman is helping to co-ordinate the Shoebox Project in the Saint John area for women living in shelters.

Cosman says the idea is like a Christmas stocking. People fill the boxes with small items, such as mittens, a scarf, somebody lotion perhaps gift cards, "just something they wouldn't be able to purchase for themselves at this difficult time."

Shoe boxes have been given out on Mother's Day, as well. Cosman says the gesture is always appreciated.

"I know personally, delivering some boxes last year to one of the locations, some children met me at the door and they were so excited, because their mother doesn't have anything special, so to actually be able to take this and give it [to her], their joy was overwhelming."