ShuGuy Ministries has a very simple mandate. To provide quality new or gently used shoes to homeless people living on Vancouver Island.
And recently founder Will Chambers and a few volunteers from the charity were at Victoria’s Mustard Seed Street Church with more than 200 pairs of new or gently used shoes.
“Our primary source of shoes well, 80 per cent come from Frontrunner stores, so we have access to the main store in Nanaimo, as well as two locations here in Victoria,” says Chambers.
“So the community itself brings the shoes in and then we’re able to go through them, make sure they’re in really good shape, and then get them out to the community that need them. The other 20 per cent come from people who simply email or call me. We find a way to get the shoes from them – sometimes it’s boxes of shoes, sometimes it’s three or four pairs – and then we put those in with the other shoes and away they go. The third was we get shoes is people donate financially through our website, so we take that money, and every dollar, every penny, goes to brand new shoes. You can imagine, I talk to a lot of people and get a fantastic deal, as much as I can where I can, and I go out and buy as many shoes as the finances allow.”
Chambers lives in Parksville and created ShuGuy Ministries four years ago for the Oceanside community. But as he saw how great the need was across Vancouver Island, he expanded his charity to include communities from Campbell River south to Victoria.
“It never ceases to amaze me how many people are homeless,” Chambers continues.
“I hear so many stories, but the stories are always very different. There’s different ways in which people have become homeless, and it just moves my heart to want to provide for them.”