Shoes need a ride to Vegas

Some shoes need a ride to Vegas.

A fundraiser by an Okanagan business man proved to be more successful than expected and that has resulted in a logistical problem. Some 40,000 pairs of shoes need to be transported to Vegas.

Jim Belshaw, owner of Roy's Shoes in Kelowna, began with the idea to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes for people in impoverished countries through the charity group Soles for Souls.

“It was more successful than we anticipated, Okanagan residents are so generous. We have more than 40,000 pairs of shoes that need to get to the S4S sorting centre in Las Vegas, Nevada,” says Belshaw.

He says they originally had a truck lined up to take the shoes, but the donor had to back out.

“They were expecting to take 25,000 pairs and since we ended up with much more than that, they had to gracefully bow out because it was more than they could handle.”

Belshaw says he is hoping someone will donate the use of a five ton cube van for him and his son to drive the shoes to the sorting centre.

“We would need it for about five days, including a weekend. We also are collecting cash donations to pay for the fuel and insurance.”

He says there is a bit of a time limit as the shoes can't stay where they are indefinitely.

“We have them stored in a warehouse off Enterprise for now, but that space was donated and we will need to get the shoes out of there within the next four weeks.”

Belshaw says in addition to the 40,000+ shoes going to S4S, they gave between 7,000 and 8,000 to local charity agencies.

Anyone who wants to help Belshaw get the shoes to Vegas can call him at (250) 763-5696.

Jim Belshaw Roy's Shoes, Boots and Repairs 1627 Ellis Street Kelowna, BC V1Y 2A8 250-763-5696