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Back in 2011, four sisters-in-law came up with the idea to fill up a shoe box with little luxuries for women in shelters. Now, a mere four years later, their project has delivered thousands of boxes – including a total of 17,000 gifts – across the country just last year.

The Shoebox Project, created by sisters-in-law Caroline Mulroney Lapham, Jessica Mulroney, Vanessa Mulroney and Katy Mulroney, asks people to decorate shoe boxes and fill them with $50 worth of items that a woman would want, but not be able to splurge on for herself due to difficult circumstances.

“During the holidays there are a lot of drives for children and women often don’t get anything,” Caroline Mulroney Lapham said to CTV AM. “People are often looking for a hands-on way to give back during the holidays…It’s an easy way to give back and to really brighten the holidays for somebody that’s often forgotten.”

Another great group collection – this time the delightful ladies from the Fairmont Vancouver. Thank you!!

Posted by The Shoebox Project / Opération Boîte à Chaussures on Wednesday, 17 December 2014

So what do people usually pop into the beautifully decorated boxes?

“Popular items would be makeup, mascara, nail polish, Tim Hortons’ gift cards…anything that would make a woman feel special,” Katy Mulroney said to CTV AM. “It’s really quite lovely.”

Now, if the holiday season is just a little too hectic for you to fill up a shoe box, the founders say the boxes are, in fact, accepted all year round.

“There are different events. People will host shoebox-making parties, where they’ll buy all the stuff and all get together to put together the boxes,” Katy Mulroney said. “London, Ont., does Mother’s Day boxes instead. Dermalogica [a skincare company] did Nelson Mandela day. So, across the year there’s different ways you can still give to these shelters.”

To learn more about The Shoebox Project click here.