How Much Love Can You Put in a Shoebox?

When Typhoon Haiyan (also known as typhoon Yolanda) ravaged Central Philippines last week, the aftermath was heartbreaking. The bottlenecked relief distribution, questionable government action, and other political issues made reality more difficult to swallow, but the stories of hope will tug your heartstrings.

Aside from non-profit and charitable groups sending aid from all over the world, individuals have organized their own micro fundraisers to benefit the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. One particular project that became close to my heart is Shoebox Love.


Organized by my fellow BDJBox beauty minister Erica Paredes, Shoebox Love began as a Christmas gift-giving project for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana) back in 2009.

Erica invited her friends and supporters to fill up an empty shoebox with basic necessities such as toiletries and canned goods, plus a few surprises such as toys, chocolates or any other item that stands out as a treat amidst the relief goods. The boxes were distributed to the victims of typhoon-struck areas all over Metro Manila on Christmas.


Erica and her best friend Margaux of The Powder Room Girls revived this project for Haiyan victims. The concept is the same: Fill up a box with contents for your intended recipient—child, teenager, or adult. To add a personal touch, write a short note or letter inside the box. Wrap the box as creatively as you want and don’t forget to label the box with your specified recipient (ex. female child, female teen, male adult).


Erica’s logistics team will personally deliver the boxes on Christmas week to Tacloban’s remote areas that were worst hit by Typhoon Haiyan.


Q: What items should I put inside the box?
A: Face towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, flip-flops/ slippers, soap, canned goods, candle, matches, bottled water, and at least one “special item”

Q: Where do I drop off the boxes?
A: Call and text the following drop-off points:
Katipunan/ Mandaluyong – (0917) 3059091
Makati (Salcedo Village) – (0917) 8444289
Makati (Baranggay Olympia) – (0927) 2876633/ (0915) 8693185
Merville, Parañaque – (0915) 8219086
Alabang – (0939) 9148337
Bonifacio Global City (McKinley) – (0922) 8728694 (Until Nov. 30 only)
Davao City – (0922) 8228387/ (0928) 5078001
Pampanga (Lewis Grand Hotel) – (045) 6253957
Bulacan – (0933) 4579366
Marikina/ Antipolo – (0927) 6918000
Baguio – (0917) 7027238
Antipolo – (0927) 6918000
Tarlac – (0916) 7952261

Q: Is there a deadline for donating?
A: We will accept boxes only until December 13.

Q: How will I know if my box was indeed sent to the victims?
A: Visit for official updates and photos.

Q: I live outside the Philippines. Can I send boxes?
A: The Fedex fee costs more than the actual box contents, so your next best option is to send our official volunteers $10 via PayPal and we will fill a box for you. Email and for more info.

Q: I want to start my own Shoebox Love drive, but I’m not from Manila. How do I do this?
A: We’ve had so much interest from all over the world from people who would like to help. Please let us know if you are out of Metro Manila and would like to start your own drive that aligns with ours. All we ask is that your boxes arrive in Manila through our volunteers by December 13. Visit for more info. Also follow The Powder Room Girls on Instagram @thepowderroomgirls and click on the hashtag #shoeboxlove to see if volunteers have already organized Shoebox Love drives in your area.


Please send love through a shoebox this Christmas.

Peace, love and light,

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