I Love First Peoples has a unique problem this holiday season. They have a warehouse full of friendship boxes ready to be sent to Indigenous girls across the country, but they have a shortage of gender-neutral boxes and boxes for boys.
“It’s a bit of reset year for us,” says I Love First Peoples founder Josée Lusignan. “The girls‘ boxes that we have can’t be shipped unless we have boy and gender–neutral boxes to go with them.”
Each holiday season I Love First Peoples hosts a friendship box campaign. People across the country are asked to fill up boxes, similar in size to a shoebox, with gifts for Indigenous children. Each box also includes personalized letters.
“Anything that makes a child happy [goes into a box],” says Lusignan. “We’re not looking for school supplies, we’re not looking for hygiene items.”
How you can help
Lusignan says there are a lot of ways to get involved with the friendship box campaign this year:
- Write a letter. Lusignan says children love reading the letters that go along with the boxes. This year I Love First Peoples is asking for letters and a ten-dollar donation to cover shipping and gifts for the gender-neutral boxes.
- Check out the website. Making your own Friendship Box couldn’t be easier this year. You can head over to I Love First Peoples website and pick out what you want to put in a box. I Love First Peoples will take care of the rest.
- Pack your own box. I Love First Peoples will be collecting gender neutral or boy boxes from people living in Ottawa or Gatineau. Make sure you follow their guidelines or check out our video showing what should go in a friendship box.
The friendship box campaign runs until December 15.