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Great Canadian Gift Box charity looks to fill shoe boxes for the homeless (3 photos)

The Great Canadian Gift Box charity is back for its second year in a row, helping the homeless in Simcoe County

There are only eight days left to donate to The Great Canadian Gift Box charity drive. 

The charity started back in 2018 by three Bradford women, and aims to collect shoe boxes filled with necessities for the homeless. 

Each box is delivered to local shelters and social programs within Simcoe County.

Last year, the team collected over 700 boxes from across the county, with Bradford contributing more than half of them. 

“Let’s see that town spirit again!” says Great Canadian Gift Box founder, Lisa Michel.

Michel noted that the homeless rate in Simcoe County is 14 per 10,000 residents. The goal of the drive is to help as many of them as possible by providing them with essential toiletries and winter wear. It is also a teaching opportunity for parents to highlight the subject of homelessness with their children, while teaching them compassion and social responsibility as they pack the boxes. 

A list of some of the items that can be included in the boxes are:

  • Chapstick
  • Baby wipes
  • First Aid Kit
  • Tampons
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hand cream
  • Condoms
  • Hat
  • Underwear
  • Blanket
  • Socks
  • Can Opener
  • Rubber bands
  • Batteries
  • Garbage bags

Boxes are to be left unwrapped and will be collected until Dec. 13. And can be dropped off  at the following locations in Bradford: Experience Toys & Games, 33 Holland St. East and The UPS Store, 450 Holland St. West. 

There will also one day power drive happening in Innisfil at DS2 Tattoos and Piercings, 7905 Yonge St. this Sunday Dec. 8 from noon to 5 p.m. Anyone who brings a filled shoebox will be given two raffle tickets and be eligible to win some prizes, donated by local businesses in Simcoe County, including Bradford’s Sweet B’s Catering & Confectionery and Neko Sushi.

There will also be a ‘Wrap Day’ event happening on Sunday Dec. 15 at Am Shalom Congregation in Barrie, 767 Huronia Rd. where families are encouraged to come wrap and personalize the boxes, which will be distributed to shelters starting Dec. 17. 

To learn more about the charity, check out their Facebook page here. Or send them an email at 

Natasha Philpott

About the Author: Natasha Philpott

Natasha is BradfordToday's Community Editor. She graduated from the Media Studies program at The University of Guelph-Humber. She lives in Bradford with her husband, two boys and two cats
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