Love In A Shoebox History
The program began with Gail Knecht as Santa’s Shoeboxes. Gail filled between 500-700 shoeboxes for children in Rohnert Park.
Gail began having some health problems and that’s when Angie Watkins stepped in to help.
Angie, with health issues of her own, contacted Sue Piland for help.
Sue Piland, Executive Director of the nonprofit SueCares, took over. The project touched her heart, as her own adopted son had experienced not only being bounced from foster home to foster home, but had learned firsthand about being homeless as well.
Research on similar projects and business names revealed that there are numerous programs providing similar services to families and children of varying circumstances not only in the U.S., but around the world. In order to avoid confusion with existing programs and to also expand the program beyond the holiday season, the name was changed to Love in a Shoebox in 2009, which we believe more accurately reflects our passion and our mission.
Love in a Shoebox has grown tremendously. We now fill 1,400 to 1,600 shoeboxes a year. Our annual fundraiser, the North Bay BBQ Challenge has been a huge success. Thank you all for your continued support!