Love in a Shoebox, a program of SueCares, provides homeless and foster care children in Sonoma County (from newborn to 18 years old) with a shoebox filled with new, small personal care items and practical, fun gifts. The shoeboxes are filled yearlong and distributed during the month of December. For many of these children, the shoebox is the only gift they’ll receive all year.


Our major fundraiser is the annual North Bay BBQ Challenge; we've raised $50,000 to date and have filled more than 11,000 shoeboxes for "our children." Our 10th Annual North Bay BBQ will be held September 14, 2019. For more information, please visit our fundraisers page.


We work with such organizations as:

  • Athena House

  • CASA

  • The Redwood Gospel Mission

  • YMCA, Boys & Girls Club

  • Legacy House

  • SAY (Social Advocates for Youth)

  • River to Coast


We are doing what WE can, but we need YOUR help! The children are OUR FUTURE.


We greatly appreciate any and all donations for the children and families of Sonoma County. No amount is too small. Please visit our donations page to make your donations through PayPal, or send your donations to:


P.O. Box 302

Cotati, CA 94931


SueCares is a qualified 501 (c)(3) corporation, EIN 20-1667404, so your donation may be tax deductible. Consult your tax professional.

Sue Cares is a nonprofit organization founded by Sue Piland in 2004 after enduring a seemingless endless battle with bureaucracy to have her adopted son given legal status in the United States.

Here is the story behind the beginning of Sue Cares:


    Have you ever met a little boy who by the young age of six had many scars on the top of his head where he’d been hit with a broom? Clorox bleach was poured over his head and he was scrubbed with SOS because he was too dark. If he tore his pants and didn’t mend them properly, the needle was jabbed into his hand repeatedly. This little boy suffered all of this abuse and more at the hand of the one person he trusted most—his mom. When she put an inch-and-a-half gash into the back of his head, he was finally removed from her care by Child Protection Services and placed in foster care. The reunification process ended when his mom took his brothers and sister back to Mexico, abandoning him and leaving him a dependent of the courts. When a judge deemed that it was not in his best interest to return to Mexico, parental rights were consequently terminated by the courts. Now a dependent of the courts, he was bounced from foster home to foster home for two years.


When Vicente was eight years old, my husband and I adopted this precious little boy who had endured so much. A year later when applying for his social security card, I was informed that Vicente did not have legal status in the United States. After several phone calls to the State Adoption Agency, immigration attorneys and the Human Services Dept., I learned that you can legally adopt a child who does not have legal status. My son was therefore subject to being deported at any time. My fears escalated to the point of devising a plan to hide Vicente—my son—to protect him if need be. I thank God that this plan never had to come to fruition…at least for my family.


After five costly years of headache and heartache, my son gained legal status and became a citizen of the United States. My son is now safe, but there are many children who are not. Out of this five-year battle, SueCares evolved with the mission of establishing aid for innocent immigrant children who become ensnared in a court system that is not designed to help them.

© 2009-2019 Love In a Shoebox

Love in a Shoebox   •   P.O. Box 302   •   Cotati, CA 94931

(707) 696-1210   •