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Christmas Shoebox Campaign

Nothing can stop Christmas, and we continue to share with seafarers the joy and spirit of the holidays through gift-giving. The campaign is also our additional way of thanking the Hidden Heroes for their sacrifices and hard work. In many ways, the seafarers deeply appreciate the presents they receive from people who care beyond their homes and families.

To all our donors and supporters, we share the seafarers’ THANK YOU!

What is in the shoebox – a regular running shoe box?
Hat, scarf, gloves or mitts, socks, wrapped hard candy (no chocolate), soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, shaving foam, razors, deodorant, lip balm, playing card, mementos of NS, PEI or Canada.

Our team of shoebox experts quality checks the contents of shoeboxes we received if they are already stuffed with items. Otherwise, the items placed in the box are carefully identified and limited only to the above list. The list is deemed as essential items the seafarers generally and personally need onboard.

All shoeboxes are gift-wrapped by a team of volunteers, signifying the gifts are produced with joy, love, and passion, driven by the spirit of Christmas.
What do we need and when is the campaign conducted?
We accept donations in kind or in cash. We use cash donations to purchase the items that go in the shoebox, particularly those that are not given in kind.
Donations can be sent online (for cash only), by courier or postal mail, or dropped in at our address at any time between 10:00AM and 3:00PM.
October — we start accepting donations of shoeboxes, cash, and kind.
November — we set up and begin the production process (sorting, stuffing, wrapping)
December — we start delivery of Christmas shoebox presents to ships
The campaign continues while supply lasts (usually until January the following year.

2023 Shoebox Campaign

Another fruitful and successful campaign in 2023 despite the inflation affecting Canada. This year, the campaign brought joy, hope and strength to 1,228 seafarers who spent their Holidays away from home and family. With full and selfless support from our sponsors, donors, friends, and volunteers with their families, the spirit of the Holidays is shared with the seafarers who significantly contribute to keeping the global economy running.

2022 Shoebox Campaign

This year, a total of 1,160 shoeboxes were delivered to 51 ships that came to the Halifax port in December 2022 and the first week of January 2023.

Bronwyn Hatcher, 5

Our youngest donors of shoebox contents

Anonymous, 10

To all our wonderful and never-tiring donors, THANK YOU!

Mrs. Frankie Anderson and her best friend Marie Gallant donated, in memory of Captain George Anderson, beautifully hand-knitted neck cowls, mittens, and scarves. Also in the photo are Bob (volunteer) and Helen.
Our friends from the Parish of Tangier (Sue Slaunwhite and Heather and Dale Cooper) delivering shoeboxes to MV Hanzevast at Sheet Harbour. This initiative is spearheaded by Jean Webb-Clarke, daughter of the late Joyce Webb (featured below), in continuation of the support to the Mission’s annual shoebox campaign.

2021 Shoebox Campaign

Another year of a successful campaign despite the restrictions due to the threat of Covid 19 and its highly infectious variants. We received donations in cash and in-kind from our long-time and new friends and partners. Cash donations were used to purchase items that went in the shoeboxes. We also received untiring and unselfish support from existing and new volunteers who checked, stuffed and wrapped the shoeboxes. The donations and the volunteer work were acknowledgements of the hard work and sacrifice of seafarers who made the Holidays a reality while being away from their families and friends. During the campaign period, we delivered presents to 1,080 seafarers onboard 51 ships that visited the ports of Halifax.

The Mission to Seafarers Halifax is grateful for funding from NAMMA (North American Maritime Ministry Association, through ICMA (International Christian Maritime Association) and the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, as well as our church, community and individual donors.

Mrs. Joyce Webb, 91, had thought that she was retiring from the shoebox collection for her area but was convinced by others to continue on as the phone solicitation committee chairperson. Her husband sailed with the former Scott Misener Steamships Ltd on the Great Lakes.

Our volunteer, Captain Jim Calvesbert, drove to Tangier, NS to visit Mrs. Webb, extend the Mission to Seafarers’ gratitude for her continued support, and receive her shoebox collection.

Thanks for the gifts you were so thoughtful to prepare one month in advance and deliver to the vessel to be given to the crew when the time comes. Today they were distributed among the seamen and everybody was very happy and touched by your kindness!
Wishing you and your colleagues a very Merry Christmas and a very happy New year!
God bless you!

Captain Angelov Vladimir, Master of M/V ZIM Tarragona

Thank you very much for everything that you and the Mission to Seafarers Halifax have done to have one of my crew get a vaccination.

Not only that, your colleague also gave us gifts!

May the Lord continue to bless all of you and the Mission to Seafarers!

On behalf of everyone onboard, I pray that all of you at the Mission and your families will have a Happy, Blessed and Healthy New Year!

Thank you very much for your love, kindness and generosity to us seafarers!

Capt. John P. Miranda, Master of M/V NYK RUMINA

I would like to thank you for nice presents we received from you, we all wish you
and your families Merry Christmas and Healthy Prosperous New Year!

Capt. Stanislaw Kaldunski and all crew of M/V Augusta Sun

Opening gifts – once again may staff and volunteers have a wonderful Christmas and blessed year. Thanks to all of you for your kindness.

BBC Europe Crew
Constable Jenn Pace, retired Sargent Nancy Rudback with Aurora Ulloa-Parsons wrapping up a day of giving

2020 Shoebox Campaign

Despite the COVID pandemic, we moved forward with our campaign in 2020. An additional consideration in the effort is the fact that seafarers continued to work amid the threat of COVID 19. The presents received left a lasting relief and satisfaction to these essential workers. The campaign produced over 1,000 shoebox presents and distributed these to seafarers onboard over 50 ships that visited the Halifax ports during the period.