The United Way 7th annual Shoebox Project helped locals in need take a giant step forward, supporting the creation of 4,800 personal-care shoeboxes filled with basic-need items for clients at 46 agencies.
Individuals and organizations throughout Bexar County support United Way’s Safety Net Impact Council by donating decorated shoeboxes filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotion, deodorant, soap, shaving cream, shampoo and other hygiene items.
Nonprofit partners receiving boxes distributed them to children in emergency shelters, long-term group homes, wards of the state, needy families, abused women and children, local teens, lonely seniors, veterans and many others. It’s one small way to help those who live on the edge and provide dignity to those who inched closer because of COVID-19.
The Center for Health Care Servicesprovides integrated care to improve the lives of children and adults with mental health conditions, substance use challenges and intellectual or developmental disabilities. Since 2015, approximately 900 shoeboxes have benefitted over 1,500 people.
“The hygiene kits can make all the difference,” said Marisol Lucio, special events coordinator for the Center for Health Care Services. “Those receiving the kits are some of Bexar County’s most vulnerable people. Providing hygiene materials is one less thing they need to worry about so they can instead focus on their health and recovery.”
“For those we serve hygiene is a complicated issue. When you have no roof over your head, let alone access to warm running water, those hygiene practices can be a challenge. This not only poses a risk to physical wellbeing but can also affect mental health, lowering self-confidence and leaving individuals feeling left behind by society,” Lucio added.
Shoebox Project supporters had the opportunity to join in during Community Shoebox Volunteer Days at the San Antonio Food Bank on May 15, 19, 29, Jun. 2 and 9, 2021.
Elizabeth, a mom and volunteer, said, “Thank you for the opportunity to be part of this project!! When we left, my kids asked to come back. I would love to know about future events we can serve at!”
Lucio shared, “Our San Antonio community decorates each shoebox with love and seals it with a message of hope. They are a symbol of the “gift of hope” which allows the community to share in the joy of uplifting those who need a helping hand.”
“That helping hand in the form of your shoebox donations will forever be remembered with sheer gratefulness. I wish to say thank you over and over again,” said Lucio.
The 2021 United Way Shoebox Project was possible through the generosity of our sponsors and participating organizations.
Sponsors: H-E-B, USAA, San Antonio Shoes, San Antonio Food Bank, and United Way
Participating organizations: Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio Police Department, Mortenson, Frost, Bank of America, CPS Energy, Temple Beth-El, Cavender, Valero, Principle Auto, MixFit SA, Bexar County Juvenile Probation, St. Mary’s University, UTSA (Millers Point Elementary), SAPD Vehicle Crime Unit, Broadway Bank, University of Texas at San Antonio, Olmos Park Youth Commission, Methodist Healthcare Ministries, and Credit Human