Soles4Souls is an organization that collects and donates shoes to people in need all over the world.

Soles4Souls is an organization that collects and donates shoes to people in need all over the world.

Local couple starts shoe drive in Fernie

Fernie residents start charity that provides footwear to those in need across the world.

A Fernie couple has embarked on a new project, collecting shoes to give to people in need across the world.

Abi Moore and her husband got the idea last year, as they collected their shoes to donate at a race they were heading to.

“Sadly didn’t make it to the race. So we’ve still got this big box of shoes, which you can ship, you can mail off if you wish, but obviously that is really costly so it’s way better to kind of team up as a town and gather as much as we can and drive them through to Calgary to their warehouse,” said Moore. “Because otherwise its pretty expensive to send them in the mail, so we thought it would be better just to do one trip.”

Moore is an organizer of the Tears and Gears races series and decided to run a local shoe drive under the umbrella of Tears and Gears.

The Fernie Soles4Souls shoe drive starts on Oct. 1 and ends on Dec. 1, allowing for a two-month window for people to donate shoes to the cause. The drive accepts any kind of shoe in any style. The only stipulation is that the shoes still have some value left and are tied together to not get separated from their match.

The Red Tree Lodge is hosting a donation centre throughout the drive and other drop-off locations are being set up. “We’ve asked a few people to see if they wanted to collect on our behalf, just to see if they wanted to increase the presence,” said Moore. “Fernie School-aged Care is kindly going to collect and Cross Fit Fernie is going to as well.” Moore added that she is hoping to get other people involved, including other local businesses and schools.

Moore and her husband will be at the Harvest Half Marathon on Oct. 4 to raise awareness about the cause and collect shoes. They are hoping to raise a trailer-load to take to Calgary and donate to the Soles4Souls charity.

“Between me and my husband, we will have quite a bit, and a lot of people are really keen and they have two months to do it,” said Moore, adding that many of the shoes collected by Soles4Souls are currently being given to many refugees.

While in it’s first year, Moore said that it would be an initiative she is interested in continuing, if there was the interest in it. “Logistic wise, it’s quite easy. Hopefully awareness will build, and people always have shoes to get rid of, it’s ridiculous how many pairs I’m sure we all have. It’s good to do it at this time of year with the change in season as well. We could do it as an annual thing if it’s successful,” she said.

Moore said that the Fernie Soles4Souls Facebook page is the best place to find up-to-date information on the drive and any new drop-off locations that may be added throughout Fernie.