New Life for “Old Soles”

Kawartha Total Foot Care Centre Chiropodists Nadine Webster & David Murphy pose with a sample of the shoes collected.

Kawartha Total Foot Care Centre has been collecting gently used shoes for the past few months so that these “old soles” can be reincarnated to help others. For young and old, footwear is an essential part of everyday life, whether for work, recreation, or basic mobility.

Yet, it’s something easily taken for granted. Socio-economic barriers, natural disasters or catastrophic events, and other issues can make access to footwear a challenge. A pair of high-quality, good- condition footwear can make a real difference in a person’s ability to work or find work, for a senior to maintain his or her mobility, for the family who has lost everything in a house fire, or for a child to participate in sport and play. Sadly, there are children even here in Canada who go to school with shoes that are full of holes and too small. Worse, now imagine it in the cold of winter.

It’s also a health issue. Good footwear supports physical activity, especially in Western society where we’re becoming increasingly sedentary. In colder climates like Canada, winter footwear is needed to protect feet from damage. There are also those with issues like diabetes, injuries or deformities, and other health concerns where proper footwear is vital to preventing pain and potentially serious complications.

Tremendous Community Support

“I’ve been incredibly impressed and touched by the generosity of those who’ve donated,” remarks Kawartha Total Foot Care Centre owner and chief chiropodist Nadine Webster, noting that the quantity and excellent condition of the shoes donated was well beyond expectations. “I remember one person, in particular, whose spouse had just passed away. She donated several pairs of his shoes, all in beautiful condition. It made her feel good for something of his to carry on and make a difference. It was so heartwarming.”

Initially, the shoe collection was something that Kawartha Total Foot Care Centre was taking on for a limited period of time, but with the level of support and the positive impact it makes they’re now going to make the collection permanent and year round. The clinic plans to direct the collected footwear to local agencies like “Women’s Resources” and “A Place Called Home” as well as internationally through “Soles4Soles Canada,” a charitable organization that distributes footwear free of charge to those in need in North America and around the globe.

Anyone wishing to make a donation of gently-used shoes or boots can drop them off to the clinic at 100 East St. S. in Bobcaygeon.