June 25, 2013 - 2:01 PM
KELOWNA - A local shoe store owner has an unusually big shipment of footwear on the way.
Shoe company Keen Canada has somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 pairs of new shoes to donate and they are asking Jim Belshaw of Roy's Shoes to help get them to Alberta. Devastating flooding of the Elbow and Bow rivers in southern Alberta has left homeowners in a state of crisis and a number of organizations in B.C. are sending support across the border.
Belshaw says his own shop was fresh out of donations after last April's Soles4Souls campaign but he recently got the word Keen Canada was sending a large shipment for him to delegate. He immediately contacted fellow Rotarian Major Ron Cartmell of the Salvation Army to figure out how to get those shoes to communities in Calgary and High River impacted by flooding.
"Most of the people lost everything. It's a major disaster," he says.
Belshaw knows first-hand half the battle is actually getting donated goods to where they're needed.
"When the fires in Slave Lake happened, I was in the middle of a shoe drive," he says. But delivering a few thousand pairs of shoes proved difficult, there were plenty of donations but no address to ship them to.
"There was no place to put them," he says.
Belshaw expects the Salvation Army will be able to locate some churches or school gymnasiums in Alberta to receive the Keen shipment. The shoes won't actually arrive at Roy's Shoes in Kelowna, but will be sent directly from the Keen warehouse in Ontario to Alberta. But the company called Belshaw for the job given his expertise in national and international charity work.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at email@example.com or call (250)718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013