New shoes and boots handed out to Parksville’s needy

WatchHundreds of pairs of shoes were handed out at a Parksville soup kitchen Monday, to outfit the needy in that community with clean dry boots going into fall. For many recipients its the first new pair of boots they've had in years and it was a welcome surprise.

What money Peter McLeod gets, he puts to feeding the unusual menagerie of a chicken, rooster, dog and cat he shares his van with.

The homeless Parksville man was one of the first in line for new shoes on Monday.

“Best darn pair of boots that I had in years,” he said.

He was among hundreds being outfitted.

“I’m tickled pink,” said Rod Nall.

“I’m grateful.”

Vancouver Island-based ShuGuy Ministries was handing out free footwear to people in need. The new and gently used footwear were collected by the charity ahead of fall and winter’s heavy rains.

“People come with very wet feet and shoes that are completely worn out,” said ShuGuy’s Will Chambers.

“So what we try to do is try to provide brand new winter footwear for people so their feet will be dry.”

The goal of the charity to help put people on their best foot forward and no longer worry about aching cold feet.

It’s a problem McLeod knows all too well.

“Well they’ll keep my feet dry, which is a long time since I’ve had boots that did that,” said McLeod.

“Brand new out of the bag.”

Thousands of pairs have been handed out just like this over the past four years, helping homeless and those very close to it take a healthier step forward.

For McLeod, he hopes his new boots will help him and his unique family find a place to at last call home.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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