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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

149 cases of COVID-19 linked to Kelowna

Nine new cases were reported in the Interior Health region over the long weekend’s four reporting periods

Former Kelowna resident makes fundraising goal for cancer fertility treatments

Rebecca Hamilton recieved a boost in a battle against cancer - $25,000 for post chemo treatments

No appointment needed: COVID-19 testing access expanded in Kelowna

First-come, first-serve testing centre opens in downtown Kelowna

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Passengers escape unharmed from destructive houseboat fire in Shuswap

Cause of blaze on Mara Lake under investigation, flames erupt at 2 a.m. Aug. 4

Alberta vehicles allegedly damaged in Summerland

Lug nuts loosened, windows smashed in several instances in Okanagan community

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

UPDATE: Water bombers attack wildfire north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Wildfire BC reports fire is still classified out of control, 25 personnel on ground

First degree murder charges for North Okanagan woman

59-year-old woman charged in Round Lake suspicious death incident

Splatsin Elder struggles to stop tubers from accessing his private property

Nathan Kinbasket has a certificate of possession on the area

Most Read