Shoebox Ministry

Over the years, the congregation of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church has adopted and supported the mission of the Shoebox Ministry. The Shoebox Ministry helps homeless men, women and families in the greater Phoenix area by providing financial support and donating toiletry items or shoebox kits. An enlightening visit to one of the donation locations made me realize there are additional ways EPC can support this ministry. Much of the information provided here is directly from the Shoebox Ministry website.


The Shoebox Ministry is always in need of toiletries, and our EPC family graciously provides full-size, travel or hotel-sized items, including shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, toothpaste, toothbrushes and disposable razors. What I hadn’t realized is that the ministry is also in need of the boxes themselves.

Here is a recipe for assembling items into a shoebox.

  • 1 regular-size bottle shampoo (or 14 hotel/travel size)
  • 1 regular-size bottle conditioner (or several travel size)
  • 1 can shaving cream*
  • 1 tube toothpaste
  • 1 adult toothbrush
  • 1 washcloth (new or clean used)
  • 1 month supply woman’s sanitary products*
  • 1 deodorant*
  • 1 large bar soap (individually wrapped or in bag)
  • 1 comb or hair brush
  • 2 individual band-aids
  • 2 disposable razors
  • 1 body lotion (or several travel size)
  • 1 pocket-size packet of tissues
  • 1 pair of socks (new or clean used)
  • 1 mending/sewing kit
  • 1 magazine/reading material

Optional ingredients if available:

  • 1 small packet laundry soap
  • 1 shower cap*
  • 1 bath/shower gel
  • 1 hair spray
  • 1 small notebook and pen
  • stationery with stamped
  • other misc grooming items for
    men or women

*Please vary items accordingly for a woman or man. If making a “family kit” include socks for a man and a woman, and include 2 adult toothbrushes, 2 children’s toothbrushes, 2 deodorants and 5 disposable razors.