2014 United Way Shoebox Project

Shoebox ProjectAlthough fortunate to live in an area with a stable economy, one that includes some of the wealthiest counties in the country, many of our neighbors are vulnerable and at risk of meeting their basic needs, including personal care products.

Donate a Personal Care Package

Help create personal care packages by donating a decorated shoebox filled with basic need or emergency preparedness items between April 1 and June 30. The shoeboxes will be redistributed to our nonprofit partners serving: disconnected youth, veterans and the homeless around the greater Washington region.

It's easy to participate! Just follow the four simple steps outlined below.

Step 1: Fill your Shoebox with Basic Need and Emergency Preparedness Items
Step 2: Decorate your Shoebox
Step 3: Submit a Picture of your Decorated Shoebox to Win Great Prizes
Step 4: Drop-off your Shoebox or have them Picked Up

Want to do more? Volunteer your time to help us organize and deliver shoeboxes, become a sponsor, help spread the word, or purchase a prefilled shoebox for only $25. 

United Way of the National Capital Area is a 501(c)(3) organization. 

Whether you decide to create your own personal shoebox or purchase a prefilled shoebox, you’ll be making a simple and meaningful donation that will make a real life difference to our community. Get started today!

Get Started

Step 1: Fill Your Shoebox with Basic Need and Emergency Preparedness Items

Grab an empty shoebox from your closet and fill it with a selection of items listed below.

2012 Shoebox Project

decorated shoebox

Hair comb/brush Travel size baby wipes
Travel size shampoo Travel size hand sanitizer
Travel size soap Toothbrush and toothpaste 
Travel size lotion Lip balm
Deodorant Tampons/Panty liners
Travel size tissue packs Ziplock bags

For companies or organizations that wish to participate in the Shoebox Project and setup a collection bin at their workplace, please fill out the form to let us know how many shoeboxes you plan to collect and donate. We’ll follow-up with you to schedule a time to drop-off the collection bin at your worksite.

Please make sure your box can be opened for safety inspections; we go through an extensive quality control process. We can only accept items on this list. Please no medicine, mouthwash, food, sewing kits, or used/opened items.

Step 2: Decorate your Shoebox

Have fun, be creative and decorate your shoebox with stickers, wrapping paper, greeting cards, fabric, ribbon or other items. Those who receive your shoebox will feel like they are receiving a special gift.

Gather a large group of friends, family members or coworkers to help fill and decorate shoeboxes together. Download our customizable flier to help spread the word about your party.

Please make sure to wrap the lid and box separately so they can be opened for safety inspections.

Step 3: Feeling Creative? Submit a Picture of your Decorated Shoebox to Win Great Prizes

Once your shoebox is decorated, send us a photo so you can be entered into our United Way Shoebox Project Decorating Contest! Prizes will be awarded to the top three best decorated shoeboxes.

To enter:

  1. "Like" us on Facebook and submit your photo here, or
  2. Tweet us your photo to @UWNCA using the hashtag #shoebox or #ELShoebox2014

Deadline to submit photos is June 12, 2014. Increase your chances and submit several different shoebox photos! Click here to view all of the amazing entries from last year.

Step 4: Drop-off your Shoebox or have them Picked Up

If you collect more than 150 filled shoeboxes, we will come pick them up! Just fill out the form to schedule a pickup from your location. The last day to request a pick up is Friday, June 20. Please allow at least 48 hours to confirm your date for pickup.

Find your nearest drop-off location here

Volunteer Your Time

Volunteers will be needed throughout the months of May, June and July to help sort shoeboxes and materials, assist with quality control, assemble and decorate shoeboxes and help redistribute the boxes to the needy.

Volunteer Opportunity #1

Date: Thursday, June 19, 2014
Location: Pepco Gallery
Time: 9:30am – 1:30pm

Please email Mary Jo Bean for more information.

Volunteer Opportunity #2

Date: Saturday, June 21, 2014
Location: 1577 Spring Hill Road Vienna, VA 22812
Shift 1: 9:30am – 12:00pm
Shift 2: 12:00pm – 3:00pm

Please email Mary Jo Bean for more information.

Become A Sponsor

Give us a lift!  Help us get shoeboxes into the hands of those that need them most by becoming a Shoebox sponsor. We are currently in need of financial support to help cover transportation costs associated with this project. If you’re interested in this sponsorship opportunity or would like to know more about other ways to become involved please contact Mary Jo Bean.

Help Spread the Word

Help spread the word of the United Way Shoebox Project by utilizing the available fliers, posters and email signature block.


For more information about United Way's Shoebox Project please send an email to: shoeboxproject@uwnca.org.


United Way NCA would like to thank all of our 2013 sponsors and participating workplaces that made last year's Shoebox possible, we couldn't have done it without you!

This year's shoebox donation drive is brought to you by:

United Way of the National Capital Area United Way NCA Emerging Leaders KEYS for the Homeless Foundation, Inc.

The 2014 United Way Shoebox Project is made possible through the dedication and commitment of our valued partners and sponsors.

Primary Sponsors