The man behind the push to get Kelowna residents donating their used shoes is now asking those residents to wear no shoes at all next Thursday.
Jim Belshaw, chair of Soles4Souls Canada and owner of Roy’s Shoes and Repairs, said the Barefoot4Them campaign is coming to Canada and Australia Oct. 10, after a successful inaugural fundraiser in the United States last year.
“It’s such an easy thing,” said Belshaw.
“It’s one of those things that could go viral across Canada…if we can get enough help, we can raise a lot of awareness and (money).”
To participate in the Barefoot4Them cause, residents are asked to take a photo of themselves without shoes or socks on Oct. 10.
Kindrunner, an online shoe company based in the United States, will donate $1 to Soles4Souls for every barefoot photo shared on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram that is tagged #barefoot4them next Thursday.
The purpose of the campaign is to experience the inconvenience of life without shoes, especially on a potentially chilly October day.
But Belshaw said those looking to take part don’t necessarily have to go the entire day without shoes or socks. The most important thing is that participants upload their barefoot photo to social media, tagged with #barefoot4them.
“There are people who I’ve talked to who are going to try to go the whole day without shoes…but you can do as little or as much as you’d like.
“I think a lot of people will jump on board.”
Belshaw said he is working to get Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray and as many city councillors as possible to take part in the initiative as well.
Those interested in the cause are encouraged to visit barefoot4them.org for more information and to see profiles of individuals worldwide who are in need of shoes.