It’s estimated that every person has at least three or four pairs of unused shoes in their closet. Meanwhile there are more than 300 million children worldwide who don’t own a single pair.
As a result, North Okanagan residents are being asked to give their old soles to souls who need them.
Soles 4 Souls Canada is a month-long shoe collection, starting Monday, for people to drop off their gently-used shoes.
April has been designated as Soles Month in Canada and North Okanagan residents are urged to step up to the challenge.
“We’re not asking for money, we’re just looking for shoes,” said Betty Gallant, RBC mortgage specialist who is helping to organize the local effort along with the Rotary clubs in the area.
From more than a dozen drop locations in Vernon and Armstrong, the shoes collected will be taken to Kelowna for sorting.
While most of the shoes will be shipped around the world to needy areas, those in need locally will also be helped.
“They’ll satisfy our local needs first,” said Gallant.
And even the remaining one per cent of shoes that aren’t used don’t go to waste.
“Nothing goes in the garbage, they recycle everything.”
From runners to high heels, all shoes are accepted but there are some specific pairs that are needed most.
“There is an emphasis on children’s shoes and mens workboots and soccer cleats,” said Sandra Ross, of Royal LePage, who is also an organizer.
The goal for Soles 4 Souls Canada is to collect one million pairs of shoes in every province over the next few years. This is the Million Shoe Mission.
So with spring underway, residents cleaning out their closets are asked to donate their gently worn shoes instead of throwing them away.
In Vernon you can drop shoes off at McDonalds, Starbucks, Royal LePage, Sutton Realty, Capri Insurance, Curves, Prospera Credit Union, Accent Countertops, Johnston Meier Insurance, Vernon Moving & Storage, On Side Restoration, and in Armstrong at McDonalds, Royal Lepage, and the Boys and Girls Club.
For more information visit: www.soles4soulscanada.com.