Runners keep in step to help others
Oct 9, 2013 / 3:47 pm
Kelowna is full of active runners and fitness aficionados who go through new running shoes multiple times a year.
So a local avid runner, and volunteer for the Gospel Mission, Allan Gillespie thought there should be a way for runners to donate their used running shoes to the homeless of Kelowna.
He brought his idea to businessman and Fresh Air C.O.O Mike Clarke, who loved the idea.
“This is the third time that we have done it. The idea is that there is a huge need for homeless people to have good footwear, which is a big deal for people that are on their feet all the time. Basically we give $20 off to anybody that brings in their shoes which then Gillespie organizes so we can re-donate those shoes to the Gospel Mission and the Metro (Church) so that people have great shoes,” explains Clarke.
Gillespie is proud of the idea, which they plan to continue to do semi-annually, in the fall and spring.
“Today we brought in 100 pairs of shoes, 50 to Gospel and 50 to Metro, over the three years we have been doing this 450 pairs have been donated,” says Gillespie.
“Runners need at least two new pairs a year, and the ‘used’ ones still have a lot of life left in them, especially if they are just going to be used for walking.
So I knew most of us runners have several pairs sitting in the closet that we would be able to bring into Fresh Air and know they will be used by somebody which is just good all around,” shares Gillespie
Executive Director of the Gospel Mission Randy Benson is incredibly grateful for the shoes explaining that there are a lot of individuals they serve on a daily basis that require new footwear.
“Our emergency shelter houses between 70 and 90 a night, our daytime provision are upwards of 500 meals a day, and combinations of all those people need the clothing and shoes. Serious runners buy good quality shoes so this is just a fantastic donation to us and a help in the service we provide,” smiled Benson.
Benson gratefully accepted the shoes and offered thanks to all involved.
“Thank you to Fresh Air and the running community for an incredible donation, an incredible program and such a great idea, this is a real blessing to us.”
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