Kamloops business hopes to make women feel special

The Shoebox Project plans to give under-privileged women something special under the tree

D. Mark Bertoli (pictured above), an Investment Advisor with Abbott Wealth Management is hopeful for the generosity of Kamloops citizens. (Submitted)

Christmas is not always the cheerful holiday that hallmark movies and the bombard of holiday commercials make it out to be. For many people, Christmas is a holiday of stress and added depression especially those who struggle to maintain financial stability for whatever reason it may be.

Abbott Wealth Management is taking on the Kamloops Shoebox Project for the fourth year, giving women in difficult times a gift to treat themselves.

Abbott Wealth Management is hoping to add a little relief to women who have fallen into hard times this season with the Kamloops Shoebox Project. The project is focused on not only relieving some stress but to also give the women something to show that they are seen and appreciated.

The Shoebox Project began in 2011 in Toronto, Ont. by four sisters-in-law: Jessica, Caroline, Vanessa and Katy Mulroney who saw a gap in the gift-giving season. The women asked friends to help create gift boxes with small luxuries that these women may not buy for themselves to make them feel special.

The project has since grown since the first year in Toronto, collecting 156 boxes; just enough to supply all the women in one Toronto women’s shelter with something to look forward to.

The Kamloops Shoebox Project has been working hard locally for four years and has since seen an outpour of support from the community. Each year, Abbott Wealth Management has seen growth in boxes collected from their first year of 150 boxes to the 2018 count of an estimated 350. This year, they hope to collect 400 boxes for the community.

Gift shoeboxes are to be created to make the women on the receiving end feel beautiful, confident and special. Boxes are to be filled with special items and small luxuries, not necessities.

If you wish to join in holiday cheer, there are a few things that you’ll need to know when shopping. All boxes should be valued at approximately $50. When filling your box, think of the gifts you’d get the women in your life to make them feel special. Gifts such as stylish cold-weather gear like mitts or scarves, small cosmetics, or something sweet like nut-free chocolate would make excellent additions to any shoebox gift. When shopping avoid used goods or hotel samples, sized clothing, mouthwash or hand-sanitizers containing alcohol, bathtub accessories as many shelters do not have that option, candles, makeup specific to skin tone, razors, jumbo-sized containers, books, feminine hygiene products or anything opened/unpackaged.

The cut-off for this year’s shoebox collection is Monday, Dec. 6. Boxes can be dropped off in person on the second floor of Abbott Wealth Management (207-1211 Summit Drive) anytime Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. For more information email info@abbottwealth.com or visit shoeboxproject.com/home.html.