Shoebox Project Aims to Meet Basic Needs of Elderly, Veterans and Homeless
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Julie Rosenthal, JR Communications
SHOEBOX PROJECT AIMS TO MEET BASIC NEEDS OF
ELDERLY, VETERANS AND HOMELESS
Donate Personal Care and Emergency Preparedness Items Through June 1
WASHINGTON, DC, May 8, 2012 – United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA), in partnership with its young professionals group, United Way NCA Emerging Leaders, has launched its first Shoebox Project to help meet the basic needs of the elderly, homeless and veterans in the greater Washington region. Residents of DC, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties are encouraged to get an empty shoebox from their closet, fill it with personal care and emergency preparedness items, and take it to a drop-off location in their community through June 1.
“In the spring and summer months, nonprofits find that their pantries are at their lowest levels for many items, including basic need and emergency preparedness items,” said United Way NCA President and CEO Bill Hanbury, citing a recent United Way NCA Emerging Leaders survey. “Connecting people in need with local resources and assistance – when they need them – is a critical part of United Way NCA’s mission.”
“Crisis, hunger and homelessness can happen at any time, to virtually anyone,” added Hanbury. Consider these statistics:
- Children account for 25.6% of all homeless individuals in the Washington Metropolitan Area.
- About 1/3 of the adult homeless population are veterans.
- About 11.5% of women and 6.6% of men over age 65 are living at or below the poverty line.
- More than 3,000 people in Northern Virginia are homeless; 10% of these people live in Alexandria.
- In DC, there are nearly 700 homeless families, comprised of approximately 800 adults and 1,200 children and typically headed by a woman from Ward 7 or 8.
United Way NCA has set a goal of collecting 1,000 shoeboxes. The initiative is modeled after a very successful campaign launched in Atlanta in 2007. After collecting 1,000 shoeboxes during the first year, last year United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta collected 18,000 shoeboxes and distributed them to 67 member nonprofits.
To participate in the Shoebox Project:
1) Fill a shoebox with essential and emergency preparedness items such as travel size toiletries, band aids, sun protector, warm socks, rain ponchos, small flashlights with extra batteries, and prepaid phone cards. See complete list of requested items.
2) Decorate your shoebox.
3) Submit a photo of your decorated shoebox to win prizes.
4) Drop filled shoeboxes at one of the participating drop-off locations listed here.
About United Way of the National Capital Area
Focusing on the critical areas of education, financial stability and health, United Way of the National Capital Area and its nonprofit members not only provide immediate relief of social problems affecting the community, but also work to alleviate the underlying causes of these issues. Serving the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties for more than 35 years, United Way of the National Capital Area works to inspire acts of caring, deliver hope and improve lives. For more information about United Way of the National Capital Area, visit www.unitedwaynca.org.