Thursday, April 26, 2012

Soles 4 Souls Ottawa Shoe Charity Launch April 2012 at Local Heroes

Speech by Donald Robichaud Eastern Director for Souls 4 Soles Canada. In attendance were Jim Watson, Peter Hume, Stephen Creighton, Tasso Vasilas, David Patafie and Alison Wesley-James. Our goal at Soles4Souls Canada is to collect one million pairs of shoes in every province in Canada within 10 years. And today is the culmination of 6 months effort to begin that campain!!!!!   In the spring of 2009 Jim Belshaw and I sat down for our regular weekly business discussion. Jim owns Roy's Shoes in Kelowna, BC. The topic was marketing and the discussion was what could be done to raise the profile of Roy's Shoes in the community. We developed three ideas and the third idea was a little thing called Soles4Souls. We did not know a lot about the organization called Soles4Souls.  
Jim had done some research on the web and wanted my opinion. When I checked out their website, I liked the idea immediately. They already had marketing materials available and it seemed like such a simple idea. A plan for Soles4Souls Kelowna was developed for the spring of 2010. We had one thought.....this is either a great idea or a complete bust. From our research on the web we knew that shoes had been collected in Canada but mostly in small amounts. A couple of hundred pairs or so!!! As the campaign took off we knew we were in over our heads. We simply were not ready for how the public responded. We had hit a hot button. People were showing up with green garbage's full of shoes. The collection boxes were overflowing all over the Okanagan valley and we had to arrange pick up of the shoes immediately at many locations. We were so naive we didn't even have a facility to warehouse the shoes to be sorted. The fist week we collected 10,000 pairs of shoes!!! In that first year a community of 140,000 people donated over 40,000 pairs of shoes. With the success of 2010 we decided to do it again in 2011. The year two program was expanded throughout the interior of BC and was re-branded as "The Million Shoe Mission". At final count, 65,000 pairs of shoes were collected. In the spring of 2011, I approached Jim with the idea of taking the campaign national. I was expanding my company, Floodlight Business Solutions Group across Canada and I felt we could take Soles4Soles Canada-wide within 3 years. Jim approached Soles4Souls headquarters in the USA and they gave us their blessing. In early 2012 we launched our new website And now, we are proud to announce that this year as part of "The Million Shoe Mission", we will be collecting shoes in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Our national goal for this year is 400,000 pairs of shoes. The long-term goal is to have April declared as Soles4Soles Month in Canada. The Million Shoe Mission will eventually be active in every province and Territory. Within 10 years, we hope to collect over 10 million pairs of shoes across this great country of ours. Since its inception in 2004 in the Us, Soles4Souls has distributed over 17 million pairs of donated shoes.It has responded to more than 40 natural disasters worldwide with crisis relief aid, including Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the Japan earthquake, and the Alabama and Missouri tornadoes in 2011. With 1 in 4 people around the world living in poverty, the shoe charity also assists individuals living in developing nations, along with the U.S. and Canada, who cannot afford shoes. Our goal this year in Ottawa is 200,000 pairs of shoes.

For more info contact:

Eastern Canada Donald J.L. Robichaud Director Eastern Canada Soles4Souls Canada 613- 466-0416 or 1-888-768-9415

 Major Sponsors Dymon Self Storage Local Heroes Smith, Petrie, Carr & Scott Insurance Brokers Limited Telus Community Ambassadors Volunteers Allegra Printing Patafie's Moving Supplies and Rentals Ottawa Share/Bookmark

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