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Laureen Harper joins local students in the Kelowna Soles4Souls drive

Laureen Harper helps local grade six student volunteers sort through and pair together shoes for the Soles4Souls campaign.
April 25, 2013 - 11:19 AM

UPDATE: Laureen Harper helps local grade six students with the Kelowna Soles4Souls drive

At a warehouse in downtown Kelowna Laureen Harper pitched in with a team of volunteers to sort through bags and boxes of donated shoes.

"We're so spoiled, you know, how many shoes are in your closet? And some people don't have any shoes," she says, adding that all different styles of shoes are needed for donations.

"We found cleets, work boots, dress shoes for somebody to get a job," she says.

Lake Country Conservative MP Ron Cannan worked elbow to elbow with Laureen Harper, along with a local class of grade six students, in a speedy effort to bundle up the hundreds of shoes donated in Kelowna.

"There's 300 million people in the world without a pair of shoes," Harper says.

As for Canada's contribution, she says, "we're going for a million"

10:30 a.m. April 25

Canada's first lady Laureen Harper will be making a vist to Kelowna this afternoon to help with the Soles4Souls charity. The charity collects used shoes throughout North America and donates them to those in need both locally and globally.

Jim Belshaw, owner of Roy's Shoes, brought the charity to Kelowna four years ago shortly after the Haiti earthquake hit. 

"We started a shoe collection right after that thinking we would collect 1,000 pairs of shoes," he says. "Well, we collected 45,000 pairs of shoes."

And all of that right here in Kelowna.

Belshaw says they've been busy filling trailers with crates of shoes and sort through the donations in a downtown warehouse that's also donated to the program. 

The charity takes requests from various non-profits and charities, who supply communities in need with winter boots and running shoes. The Soles4Souls program was first launched in the United States eight years ago following the tsunami in Southeast Asia.

Belshaw says the goal this year is 100,000 pairs and they're already halfway there.

He says there's still time to drop off your unwanted footwear, the drive is open until April 30.

Laureen Harper was welcomed to Kelowna this afternoon by Lake Country Conservative MP Ron Cannan.
Laureen Harper was welcomed to Kelowna this afternoon by Lake Country Conservative MP Ron Cannan.

Jim Belshaw runs the Roy's Shoes shop in downtown Kelowna on Ellis Street.
Jim Belshaw runs the Roy's Shoes shop in downtown Kelowna on Ellis Street.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at jwhittet@infotelnews.ca or call (250)718-0428.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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