This month, people across Canada – including Victoria – are showing solidarity and active support for reconciliation by filling shoeboxes with gifts for Indigenous youth living in remote and semi-remote communities.
“It’s like a tidal wave of love and friendship about to wash over Canada, and it’s high time,” said Josée Lusignan, president and founder of I Love First Peoples, the charity behind this mass effort.
“For too long, Canadians have either turned a blind eye, lived in denial or felt totally powerless as they hear of the devastation the youth are facing – rampant suicides, poor access to basic services like education and health, dirty water, food insecurity, trauma, abuse – it’s got to stop! The truth is, we are not powerless. I am grateful beyond belief to see so many people taking action with us to say it’s time for change,” said Lusignan.
How To Help
The I Love First Peoples gift-filled shoebox campaign will run across Canada from November 1st to December 15th, with over 25 chapters ready to receive shoebox gifts.
The shoeboxes should be filled with quality gifts that would make a child or youth happy. Generally, think of what you would pack for a loved one.
Make sure to follow the shoebox-packing guidelines below:
Then, once you’ve filled your shoebox, bring it to one of the designated drop-off locations.
Victoria Drop-Off Locations:
- Power to Be (1017 Fort Street)
- Frontrunners (1200 Vancouver St.; 3659 Shelbourne St; 755 Goldstream Ave)
- Little Owl Kid’s Fair (Nov 18, Cook Street Village)
- Owl Designer Fair (December 1 and 2 Fernwood NRG)
I Love First Peoples will use the gift-filled shoeboxes to organize school celebration events,
typically attended by celebrity role models, and then build on the relationships with the
communities to support students on an ongoing basis, primarily through awards programs.
Want a more interactive look at packing a shoebox? Check out this video of George Strombolopoulos helping the cause!