Shoes. Hundreds of shoes.

Sr. Kay with a big pile of shoesAs always, Sister Kay's goals are modest. Her 2015 charitable project would be to collect 100 pairs of shoes. She had jumped on to the BioPed Soles4Souls project and asked her many students and clients to kick in. 

On December 10, a small gathering was held to call a close to the project, to tell the story, and to bless the shoes as they head on their way. 

458 pairs had been collected and were laid out as art. Work boots, military boots, fashion boots and wellies. Baby shoes, strappy shoes, runners and sandals. Heels and slippers. All collected in 2.5 weeks and a few emails. Remarkable.


Ceremony and blessing

Sister Kay's guests include Bill and Ginny Graydon, owners of BioPed Kingston; BioPed Kingston's patient coordinator, Michelle Robinson; and Helen Mabberly, Manager, Community Health and Immigrant Services at Kingston Community Health Centres -- and some students as well.

Sister Kay on the project and its history

As many of you know, the Brief Charity Projects for participants in the Providence Studio programs , began in 2009, when we:

  • helped out the Hotel Dieu Hospital prayer shawl ministry. In subsequent years we have
  • knit winter hats for Children in Africa,
  • saved toiletries for the poor in Kingston,
  • helped the Seniors Centre with their 6-squared art project,
  • sent art supplies to the children in Africa that were quarantined during the Ebola crisis,
  • made and mounted 6000 paper dollies to represent the 6000 poor children of this city,
  • helped raise funds to cover the cost of hospital care for a newborn who needed heart surgery, and knit special booties for her.

Many times, our small effort has encouraged others to do something as well, and that is always an extra delight for us.

In choosing a project, each year, we often piggyback our effort onto one that we have heard about--in that sense I believe that we take our direction from Divine Providence.

That was the case this time, too, as we collected shoes for those in need. Here is how it happened.

I was just e-mailing all of you about how the paper dollies were still travelling around Ontario, when I got an e-mail from the BioPed Company, and noticed information about the Souls4Soles project. I called the store and went over to meet Michelle Robinson. She was most helpful in getting us started with a donation box and answers to all my questions.

You took it from there, with your usual wonderful generosity, and here we are tonight with 417 pairs of shoes. Thank you all, so much. I can't possible name everyone who contributed shoes, but two ladies, who joined the project very early, do deserve special mention. Regina Pizutti, Manager, Ventilator Equipment Pool, a government service connected to Kingston General: Regina and her staff sent in 34 pairs, and Regina was here to help clean a few shoes and set up the display last night. Also, want to mention Kathi Colwell, Program Manager of Physical Medicine and Rehab at St. Mary's of the Lake, who set up a separate collection for the staff over there. That collection, a separate one from this, now has 140 pairs.

We are grateful, too , to Mr. Bill Graydon, owner of Bioped Kingston, for joining in the Soul4Soles campaign and setting the stage for this collection to happen. You have on your program sheets some information about Souls4Soles, and you can find more on the BioPed website. While this brief project is over here, BioPed continues to collect shoes for Souls4Soles year-round.

As the shoes came in, we became aware of the plight of the Syrian refugees, and we nurtured a hope that some of the shoes might go to them. That led to me to contact Ruth Noordegraaf, and Helen Mabberly, of Immigration Services, and also Captain Yvette Grygoryev, Public Affairs Officer, at the army base, to try to clarify what was happening in regard to refugees coming to Kingston. As you know, today's Whig Standard, has a front page article letting everyone know that a large number of refugees will be housed at the base, here.

Thank you again. Many hands have made big things possible, once again.


The shoes!

Blessing of the Shoe Collection   


With joy we send these shoes on their way
to those who are walking a much more difficult path, than ours.
May they serve them well —
supporting them, when the road is hard,
and offering them comfort in times of rest.
May their children delight in playing in them,
And their older folks walk easier in them.
Bless us, too,
That we may continue on our way
With hearts always open to those in need.
And feeling the love, of those who care for us.
  • Kay Morrell, SP


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