Shoe Bank Canada kicks off spring drive

More soles needed

Shoe Bank Canada is in need of as many pairs of shoes as possible for its spring drive

The demand for adequate footwear in the Okanagan and across the country is bigger than Shoe Bank Canada can deal with.

During the non-profit’s annual shoe drive, founder Jim Belshaw is pleading with Canadians to clean out their closets and donate their gently used soles.

Since 2010, more than 40,000 pairs of shoes have been distributed to Canadians in need thanks to the more than 100 agencies who help deliver the footwear.

However Belshaw says the Shoe Bank, which started in Kelowna, needs to focus on those who need footwear in the Okanagan first and foremost.

“We’ve had to say no to most of the requests outside of the Okanagan,” he said. “We are looking after our own backyard first and whatever we can do wherever in Canada that we can do it we will. We have sent stuff west to Haida Gwaii, east out to Nunavut to an elementary school in Igloolik; wherever the requests come in we try to accommodate them.”

More and more requests are coming from right here in the Okanagan, especially since the opening of the Shoe Bank’s permanent location in downtown Kelowna three years ago.

“Two days a week, three-and-a-half hours a day we see 75 households come in (to the permanent drop off location),” explained Belshaw. “And a household could be one person or a family of eight or ten people.”

Between the permanent shoe bank location and the partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Okanagan, this spring’s shoe drive is vitally important.

Andrew Greer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Okanagan explains that the Big Shoes Little Feet program started just last year and managed to distribute 50 pairs to children in the area.

“We knew the demand would increase with our work day in and day out in the school district, we see the need and so we expected there would be some take up and now we are expanding the program through the school councillors and discreetly getting shoes on to children’s feet,” he said.

There has also been a demand in footwear for winter which has prompted the non-profit to create a fall shoe drive on top of the spring drive.

“This last winter we did not have enough shoes and boots, we were turning people away,” said Belshaw of the permanent shoe bank in downtown Kelowna.

So, be sure to toss a pair of your old shoes in a donation bin at locally participating drop off locations, click here to find out more.

Just Posted

Budding tennis stars learn the ropes

Students at local elementary schools get some lessons in tennis

Lawsuit claims medication mishandling at Penticton’s hospital

The claimant says her doctor ramped up her bipolar medication before cutting her off

Reel Reviews: The Commuter arrives, but The Post delivers

We say, “The Post is taut and electric. The Commuter is clever.”

Tychonik continues scoring run

Vees chalk up another win with Pink in the Rink

Mamas for Mamas founder survives with new lease on life

Kelowna’s Shannon Christensen escaped a dangerous situation and lived to tell about it

Taking kindness to a new level

Students make thoughtfulness a year-round initiative

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read