Shoebox Project

Children, veterans, elderly, homeless and vulnerable populations in our area need your help.

United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County is mobilizing our community to provide personal care and basic need items to our most vulnerable residents.

September 7 – October 30 United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County will collect decorated shoeboxes filled with personal care and basic need items from individuals, families and organizations in our community. Everyday items most of us take for granted, like toothbrushes, soap, or a comb can make a big difference for someone living in poverty or experiencing homelessness. Believe it or not, some of the most important essentials people need can fit right inside of a shoebox.

Join our efforts to help those in need in our community. Donate a shoebox filled with the requested personal care and basic need items or purchase a pre-filled shoebox.

Download the 2020 Shoebox Project informational flyer HERE.

Donate a Personal Care Package

Help create personal care packages by donating a decorated shoebox filled with personal care and basic-need items between September 7 – October 30.

The shoeboxes will be redistributed to children, veterans, elderly, homeless and vulnerable population’s homeless in San Antonio and Bexar County.

It’s easy to get started! Just follow the four simple steps outlined below.

Step 1: Decorate your Shoebox.
Step 2: Fill your Shoebox with the requested Personal Care and Basic Need Items
Step 3: Post your pictures of your shoeboxes to Social Media #ShoeboxUWSA
Step 4: Drop –off your Shoebox at one of these locations or have scheduled for Pick Up

Want to do more? Volunteer your time to help us organize and build shoeboxes, help spread the word, host a collect drive, or purchase a prefilled shoebox for only $20.

Whether you decide to create your own personal shoebox or purchase a prefilled shoebox, you’ll be making a simple and meaningful donation that will make a real life difference to our community.

Get Started

Step 1: Fill Your Shoebox with the Requested Personal Care & Basic Need Items

Grab an empty shoebox from your closet (or email us: to request shoeboxes. Thanks to San Antonio Shoes for donating 6000 shoeboxes for this project!) and fill it with the requested items listed below:

  • Hair comb/brush
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Baby wipes
  • Deodorant
  • Band Aids
  • Soap/body wash
  • Lotion

We cannot accept: medicine, food, sewing kits, razors, hotel toiletries or used or opened items.

Step 2: Decorate Your Shoebox

Have fun, be creative and decorate your shoebox with stickers, wrapping paper, greeting cards, fabric, ribbon or other items. Those who receive your shoebox will feel like they are receiving a special gift.

Interested in hosting a shoebox decorating party? It’s easy to do and fun! Just follow these steps:

  1. Set a date and ask attendees to bring empty shoeboxes and needed items to the party.
  2. Start a donation drive with friends, family, or coworkers. Set up bins at certain locations for participants to collect items.
  3. Gather decorations, snacks and music to enjoy the party.
  4. Have fun decorating and filling your shoeboxes together.

Make sure to wrap the lid and box separately so they can be opened for safety inspections.

Would you like a United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County representative, member nonprofit or beneficiary to speak at your event? Send an email to:

Step 3.  Share pictures of your shoeboxes on Social Media

  1. “Like” us on Facebook and share your photos
  2. Tweet” us your photo to @unitedwaysa using the hashtag #ShoeboxUWSA

Step 4.  Drop-off Your Shoebox or Have Them Picked Up

After you have decorated and filled your shoeboxes, drop them off at one of our participating drop-off locations.

If you collect more than 100 filled shoeboxes, we will come pick them up! Just fill out the form to schedule a pickup from your location. The last day to request pick up is Friday, October 23.

Please allow at least 72 hours to confirm your pickup date.

Drop off locations

Please submit decorated shoeboxes filled with toiletries by Friday, October 30th. You can also provide the requested items to us and we’ll decorate and fill the box. Please make sure the box can be opened for safety inspections.

United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County

700 S. Alamo, 78205

Monday – Friday: 8:15 am – 4:30 pm

Please call 210-352-7000 if you have questions about drop off.

San Antonio Food Bank

5200 Old Highway 90 West, 78227

Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Please drop off at the Donation Drop Off location behind the main gate of the Food Bank  (where the Food Bank trucks are located).

Please call 210-352-7077 if you have any questions about drop off.


For more information about United Way’s Shoebox Project please send an email to

Do you need Shoeboxes? Contact to request shoeboxes.

Does your organization want to adopt a non-profit partner agency for the Shoebox Project? If so contact to learn how to adopt an participating agency.


Thank you to our Signature Sponsors and Partners for their continued support of our annual Shoebox Project!