Three Montgomery County-based nonprofits were among the area groups to benefit from the United Way of the National Capital Area’s first Shoebox Project; each received boxes filled with personal care items to be given to agency clients.
Bethesda Cares, Community Ministries of Rockville and Interfaith Works, which also is based in Rockville, received the boxes to distribute to the elderly, the homeless and veterans.
“The Shoeboxes were lovely,” said Susan Kirk, executive director of Bethesda Cares. “They were decorated and cute so that makes it more like receiving a gift. Our clients are all homeless, so people can put the items in their back backs; everything was portable so that was easy.”
The Shoebox Project, which is modeled after a similar United Way campaign started in Atlanta in 2007, took place from April through mid-June.
Community groups, local organizations and businesses collected empty shoe boxes and filled them with items such as toiletries, band aids, sun block, warm socks, rain ponchos and small flashlights.
“For the last three years we've really tried to transform United Way to be more engaging in the community,” said Kerry Morgan, senior vice president of marketing and communication for the United Way of the National Capital Area.
United Way collected slightly more than 2,000 boxes during the project.