Project Shoebox 2020


“For many women and children escaping an abusive relationship, having to leave in a hurry means that they often arrive at our refuges with little more than the clothes they are wearing. It is often the simple things, like having a toothbrush or shower gel, which can result in women returning to abusive homes.”

CEO Hestia Charity

Project Shoebox was set up to address this problem, by donating toiletries and essential everyday items to women's shelters across our communities. It's so called because we literally fill shoeboxes  with personal care products in the hope that we can make living in shelters slightly more bearable.

How can you help?

Do you have a drawer of unused cosmetics at home? Have you ever wondered what you could do with them? Project Shoebox could be the answer. There'll be donation boxes in Cognifide offices throughout February and until International Womens' Day on 8th March, when we'll deliver shoeboxes to shelters. If it's easier, you can donate through our Amazon wishlist which features all kinds of useful products.

The Project Shoebox story

Project Shoebox is the brainchild of a Cognifide colleague who worked with her local hostel to box up essential personal care products and toiletries to help women who came to them, escaping abusive situations at home. Four years later and the project has scaled across all our offices. With the help of some WPP colleagues we donated nearly 700 boxes in 2019 in London and Poznan.

Collaboration is at the heart of Project Shoebox, over the years we have worked with various partners, including local businesses and, of course, our charity partners that help us to reach women in need. 

Local Support

Every year that we launch the Project Shoebox donation drive, we're amazed with the support that we get. It's not just the generous donations from colleagues, but from organisations who hear about what we are doing and want to get involved. In Poland last year, our first donation came from an anonymous local donor who had simply heard about what we were doing and wanted to help. And the Student Equality Association at Adam Mickiewicz University also pledged their support, setting up a local drop and preparing their own posters to promote the cause.

What can we achieve?

"With the generosity of the staff at Cognifide, these women can begin to feel like themselves again and recover from the trauma of domestic abuse. Hestia is proud to be working with Cognifide to celebrate women in our refuges on International Women's Day." 

CEO Hestia Charity

"International Women Day is made exceptional thanks to Project Shoebox. The women who suffer from abuse which our organisation supports receive essential toiletries for them and their children. In each of boxes they receive they can find small gifts such as perfumes or lipstick which help them to feel more confident and forget about the problems that they are currently dealing with."

Paulina Hryniewicka, Children’s Rights Protection Committee in Poznań.

How can you make a difference?

  1. Donate your unused, unopened products at any Cognifide office.
  2. Use our Amazon wishlist to donate much needed products.
  3. Set up your own collection box.
  4. If you are a client or local organisation, you could partner with us to help grow this fantastic initiative.

Please get in touch if you'd like to get involved or learn more about Project Shoebox.

Read next...

Project Shoebox helps abuse victims on International Women's Day

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