Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 12-06-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | DECEMBER 6-12, 2018 CUMBERLAND 13 CUMBERLAND – The holiday season can be a difficult and lonely time of year, particularly for women who have been displaced from their homes or are estranged from their families. Reducing feelings of isola- tion and providing a sense of peace and happiness to women at-risk is one of the main objectives of The Shoebox Project for Women, a non- profit organization collecting and distributing gift-filled shoeboxes for women impacted by or at risk of homelessness. Filled with items made to help women feel special, the gift is a reminder to women in need that their community has not forgot- ten them. Each filled and deco- rated shoebox is valued at $50 and includes a variety of items to help enhance the self-esteem of the recipi- ent. Cumberland resident Mary McVeigh is the coordinator for north- ern Rhode Island, bringing the non- profit to the state for the first time last year. There are Shoebox Project chapters in 15 other states across the country. Locally, the state's chapter partners with Crossroads Rhode Island on the project. McVeigh, who collected about 70 boxes for the women served by Crossroads last year, hopes to do more this year with the help of com- munity members, who are encour- aged to make their own box and drop it at the Red Inc Salon & Color Workshop, 3450 Mendon Road in Cumberland, by Dec. 12. The boxes will be delivered to Crossroads the following week, in time for Christmas. So what goes into a shoebox? • Practical gifts and tools for self- care, such as lotion, hair ties, make- up, nail polish, sleep masks, a cos- metic bag or other beauty products • Something fun, including playing cards, a blank journal, books to read or adult coloring books and crayons • Sweet treats such as chocolate and nut-free candy • Cozy socks, a warm hat or winter gloves/mittens • Other "stocking stuffers" such as gift cards or accessories Donors are also encouraged to include a personal note for the recip- ient, sharing words of encourage- ment and support or well wishes. "We encourage people to put the box together like they would if it were a gift for a loved one," McVeigh said. "It's about providing a real gift for the holidays, not some- one's leftovers." For that reason, the Shoebox Project does not accept used items or samples such as hotel shampoo bottles. Alcohol and mouthwash are prohibited, and candles are discour- aged because many shelters do not allow flammable items. McVeigh also discourages people from including personal hygiene/feminine products, or items that are sensitive to size. "Scarves are great because they're one-size-fits-all," she said. The kinds of toiletries that are preferred are nice perfumes, scented lotions, bath bombs and spa kits – the sort of gift you'd give someone you care about – rather than toothpaste or deodor- ant. "Anything to make them feel pretty and loved," McVeigh said. "It's about making women feel pretty and loved around the holidays, when they oth- erwise might not have that, over and above the basic needs that they'd receive in the shelter." Most importantly, McVeigh said including a little personal note of encouragement goes a long way. People can aid The Shoebox Project's mission by assembling their own box, donating an item for a box or a roll of wrapping paper, or mak- ing an in-kind donation. Another option is to host a "shoebox party" where participants each bring a few items. "I don't expect the boxes to be perfect," McVeigh said. "It's my job to make sure that all of the boxes are equal quality when they are deliv- ered." To make a shoebox, decorate it by wrapping the top and bottom of the box separately, fill your shoebox with items totaling roughly $50 in value, write an inspirational message, special card or poem for the recipi- ent, share a photo of the finished box using the hashtag #ShoeboxProject, and drop off the shoebox at Red Inc Salon in Cumberland. For more information on The Shoebox Project and how to help, visit rhode-island. Provide a special holiday gift for a local woman in need By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer BREEZE PHOTO BY NICOLE DOTZENROD Local coordinator of The Shoebox Project, MARY MCVEIGH, hopes members of the community will consider donating a shoebox filled with goodies, to be given to a member of the community in-need this holi- day season. 184 Front St., Lincoln, RI (401) 723-7078 Lincoln Shopping Center Visit us at Christian Jewelers Cultivating Since 1992 30% OFF All In-Stock

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