Shoe Bank Canada launches spring shoe drive

Shoe Bank Canada wants your old shoes.

The Kelowna based charity has launched its spring shoe drive, with donations going to those in need.

“People have excess shoes, everybody’s got excess shoes in their closet and we can put them on somebody’s feet that desperately needs them,” says Organizer Jim Belshaw.

The group is in need of donations now more than ever, after a winter that saw them barely meet demand.

“We had to send people away for a week and come back again and wait for donations,” Belshaw says “but in Vancouver we’re getting a ton of requests, well from everywhere actually, all over the province, western Canada, and the more shoes we have the more we can do”

Since launching in 2010, Shoe Bank Canada has given 40,000 pairs of shoes to people who need it.

Belshaw says they've quickly expanded since the start, with warehouses now in Vancouver, Kamloops and Ottawa, in addition to Kelowna.

“Started right here with Sunrise Rotary and myself and some friends and it’s just expanded,” he says “it’s so easy, everybody understands it, the kids get it, everybody understands that we have excess. I’m not asking for money, I’m asking for your old shoes”

Belshaw believes the initiative will spread to even more provinces, with it being Canada-wide within 2 years. He says they're currently looking for businesses that are willing to become a bin host and help collect more shoes.

A list of drop off locations in the Kelowna area can be found at ShoeBankCanada.com