No small feat: 27,000 pairs of gently used shoes collected in Esquimalt for charity

Volunteers work to load a transport truck with shoes.

Volunteers came out to Esquimalt Saturday morning to help prepare 27,000 pairs of shoes to be shipped off for those in need.

The initiative, known as Soles4Souls, works with businesses from across the country to take shoes that would otherwise be thrown away and put them in the hands of those who need them most. 

The sheer amount of shoes collected in Esquimalt filled a shipping container. Steve Chapman, VP of Industra Construction Corp., the company spearheading the delivery of the shoes from Esquimalt, says it took a year to fill the container.

The shoes themselves come from all over B.C. and Canada. First they’re collected from stores that have a drop-box and then sent, in this case, to Industra’s Victoria branch, where they accumulate until they have enough to fill a transport truck.

A bag of shoes.

A bag of shoes, ready to be shipped.

“There’s a lot of people that don’t have shoes in the world,” he said. “They’re going to probably end up in Ontario where they’re going to get sorted from the winter shoes and the summer shoes and then the summer ones will head to South Africa.”

Since 2006, 83 million pairs of shoes and pieces of clothing have been redirected from the landfill by the charity.

Roger CollinsRoger Collins

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