This season, Jacksonville’s Clara White Mission for the homeless put out a call for volunteers and donors to pack shoeboxes with the personal supplies their clients need the most in a project called Shoeboxes of Love. The Technology Enterprise Services team, led by Director Caroline Crawford, answered the call and offered employees the opportunity to join the effort as a team-building exercise for the holiday season.
“We set a goal of 50 shoeboxes of personal supplies,” said Matthew DiPaolo, technical director. “But in the end, we exceed our goal. We packed and wrapped 89. All of the contents came from donations from our team members.”
The shoebox contents varied, but most included the essentials: socks, hand towels, soaps, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and other daily hygiene necessities. Technical Director Ed Perez, who has a long history volunteering with Clara White Mission, provided a list of the organization’s most needed items. IT Architect Roy Carter has ties to shoe retailer Nine West and secured most of the shoeboxes. The team gave themselves a month to gather all the goods before packing the boxes.
On Dec. 9, grateful staff from Clara White Mission stopped by to pick up all of the boxes, along with a large bagful of extras. Pictured wrapping up their highly successful holiday project are (left to right) Matthew DiPaolo, Caroline Crawford, Kim Wells-McDonnell, Roy Carter, Mark Sabattini, and Lakshmi Madem.