Monday, March 22, 2010

30,000 pairs of shoes donated to Haiti

by Elisha Dacey - Story: 53440
Mar 21, 2010 / 6:00 am

Now people around the world will know what it's like to fill the shoes of an Okanagan "sole".

Generous Okanagan residents from across the Valley have donated more than 31,000 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls. At last count at noon on Saturday, 31,256 pairs of shoes were busting out the walls of a warehouse with several hours left to go in the fundraiser.

Organizer Jim Belshaw says he was overwhelmed by the response to the program, which will see the majority of the shoes collected distributed in Haiti.

"The success was phenomenal," says Belshaw, standing amongst heaps of bags of donated shoes. "There's obviously a need. Stats from the Soles4Souls USA says that there's 300 million kids without shoes. And that's just the kids."

Belshaw says since he launched the fundraiser a little less than a month ago, he's been going non-stop, and the door to his store, Roy's Shoes, hasn't stopped opening.

"I think we're going to go for this next year. I don't know how many we'll go for, but we're going to do this next year."

Belshaw thanked his sponsors at a press conference Saturday afternoon, but added a few additional thanks. "A couple of very special thanks - one to Chute Lake Elementary, they were the first school to jump on board, a little grade 5 class, they collected hundreds of shoes," says Belshaw.

"And to a young man in Penticton named Jordan... he's a student in Penticton, he saw (a story about the drive on the news). He made up 200 flyers, and delivered them around his neighbourhood, talked to all his neighbours, got a couple of buddies and they collected close to 1,000 pairs of shoes.

"But I think the most important thanks go out to the citizens of the Okanagan, the Kelowna people. Without them being inspired to open up their closets and pack in some shoes, none of this would have happened."

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

Soles 4 Souls Kelowna - Roy’s Shoes Kelowna BC

My Kelowna Blog List