Linda Ferguson: The Shoebox Project Victoria

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It was on a visit with her daughter in Vancouver that Linda Ferguson discovered the Shoebox Project. After filling and wrapping up a shoebox with items for a woman living in a shelter, she wondered if there was a similar project in Victoria. “I called the organization in Toronto”, Ferguson says, “and they asked me if I wanted to lead the project on the Island. I accepted right away.”

Every year for Christmas, volunteers for the Shoebox Project fill up shoeboxes with small items and gifts for women in shelters, little luxuries that most of them can’t get at this point in their lives. These boxes are distributed among a city’s shelter, and then given to the women staying with them. “When I started, I had no idea how this was going to explode,” says Ferguson. To grow from a few boxes in the first year, to close to 1000 in 2016, “it takes many volunteers to help and turn the wheel. I don’t do this alone: I have a team of dedicated women who give their precious time during the holidays for this project. Leadership changes your community.”