Walking a mile in their shoes: Local shoe company spreads the love across Canada to those most in need this Valentine’s
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vancouver, BC—On Thursday morning, February 12, just in time for Valentine’s Day, Vancouver start-up SHOEme will team up with Union Gospel Mission to provide the Downtown Eastside community with 200 pairs of brand new quality shoes and socks. At the same time, 3,000 KM away, SHOEme will provide 100 shoes to the Red Door Foundation, a women’s shelter in Toronto.
"We're thrilled to partner with UGM again this year," says Sean Clark, co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer at SHOEme who doubled the donation from last year. "Giving back to enhance the community and the lives we touch is an important part of our company culture. We had a fantastic time last year handing out new shoes, and our team learned a lot from UGM staff about the meaningful programs and services they provide to those in need."
The SHOEme team will arrive just after the daily breakfast to donate the shoes to the community. The shoes will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis.
SHOEme staffer PJ Worsfold came to UGM for the first time last year, unsure of how his team would be received and wondered what difference their efforts would make, if any.
“The UGM team was really welcoming,” he says. “They assured us that the guest would be glad to see us and would put the shoes to good use. And once we met the community, it felt great. There were so many smiling faces and kind words. We were only sorry we couldn’t meet all of the demand.”
Union Gospel Mission staff are thrilled with the donation. Outreach worker Matt Hislop explains.
“People who struggle with homelessness or are under-housed are forced to spend most of their daytime outdoors,” he says. “And walking is their main mode of transportation. It’s more common for people here to have ill-fitting and/or worn out shoes than it is for them to have adequate footwear. Our damp, wet Vancouver weather exasperates the problem. This all accumulates to not only painful foot problems, but can lead to medical issues like street feet—much like ‘trenchfoot’ experienced by WWI foot soldiers.”
Hislop further explains that chronic foot problems almost always inevitably lead to other issues such as back, knee and hip problems as they over-compensate to take the weight off the foot.
“Shoes are one of the most difficult items to help community members acquire because sizing is much more critical than for general clothing, and adequate practical footwear is note often donated,” says Hislop.
Who: Members of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community will receive new shoes for Valentine’s
What: Vancouver Shoe Company ShoeMe.ca will donate a truck-full of new shoes
When: Thursday February 12 at 9:00 a.m.
Where: Union Gospel Mission, 601 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC
SHOEme is one of Canada's fastest growing ecommerce companies. Our mission is to constantly challenge, innovate and deliver new and better ways to shop. We apply technology and fashion expertise to enable consumers to discover leading, boutique and exclusive brands. We provide an unparalleled level of customer service and proudly offer free shipping and a hassle free return policy on every order.
About Union Gospel Mission
Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing the lives of men, women, and children for over 70 years. Through its 7 locations in Metro Vancouver, UGM provides counseling, education, safe housing, and alcohol and drug recovery to those struggling with poverty, homelessness, and addiction. The heart of the mission is to demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of the most vulnerable, rebuild the lives of the broken, and offer dignity to those who feel cast aside. For more: www.ugm.ca.