The program began with Gail Knecht as Santaís Shoeboxes in 2000. Gail filled between 500-700 shoeboxes for children in Rohnert Park. Gail began having some health problems in 2005, and thatís when Angie Watkins stepped in to help.
In 2007 Angie, with health issues of her own, contacted Sue Piland for help.
Sue Piland, Executive Director of the nonprofit, SueCares, took over in 2008. 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 our program beyond the holiday season, we changed the name 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 between 1,400 and 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!