Saturday, March 13, 2010

15,000 pairs of shoes collected - Soles for Souls

15,000 pairs of shoes collected - so far
by Elisha Dacey - Story: 53276
Mar 13, 2010 / 1:00 pm

About 15,000 pairs of gently used footwear has been collected so far for the Soles for Souls program in the Okanagan.

Organizer Jim Belshaw says last week the trailer outside his store, Roy's Shoes, was "just packed full to the brim" and the trailer is currently half-full again.

"We got out there and sorted all the shoes into mens, women's and children's ... and I'd say we had about 9,000 - 10,000 pairs of shoes in that trailer," says Belshaw.

Since launching the program with a goal of collecting 25,000 pairs of shoes in 25 days, Belshaw says he's heard hundreds of stories, but his favourite one is of a gentleman who started collecting used footwear almost 5 years ago.

"He called me up, a man from Vernon, and he said 'Jim, the good Lord told me to start collecting shoes five years ago.' He said he knew there'd be a need."

The man stored the shoes at his local church and knew right away when he heard about the Soles for Souls program that this was what he wanted to donate the shoes to, says Belshaw. "He gave us about 1,000 pairs of shoes."

The last day to collect shoes is Saturday, March 20. Shoes can be donated at various Capri Insurance locations around the Okanagan, at Roy's Shoes on Ellis Street and there will also be collection bins at tonight's Kelowna Rockets game.

The shoes will go to various local charities and the remainder will be shipped to Haiti.

Jim Belshaw
Roy's Shoes, Boots and Repair
1627 Ellis Street
Kelowna, BC
V1Y 2A8

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