A member of Canadian rock royalty with ties to Nova Scotia is hoping his new Canada-wide charity will bring some sole to the homeless with new and gently-used shoes. Myles Goodwyn, the lead singer of the band April Wine, started the Soleful Caring campaign over the holidays in conjunction with Shelter Nova Scotia and Value Village. On Wednesday, he was in Halifax to help deliver 700 of pairs of donated shoes and winter boots.
The idea for the charity came from Goodwyn’s experiences living with Type 2 diabetes, a condition that can leave patients’ feet permanently numb. Goodwyn and his Montreal doctor, who also lives with the disease, developed Soleful Caring with fellow sufferers in mind.
“I think it’s very important to get good shoes on all of them,” said Dr. Stan van Duyes. “But I certainly think that diabetics should be prioritized.”
Goodwyn, who grew up in Waverley, said his uncle died homeless on the street and he knows what it’s like to be poor. “I wore shoes that were pretty beat up,” he said. “I had cardboard in the heel area to keep those small nails from digging into me. My shoes were always worn down at the sides and it still moves me when I see someone with worn out shoes, it’s something deep inside of me.”
Kelly Deveaux went to Value Village on Wednesday to donate a brand new pair of winter boots. He said he heard about the Soleful Caring campaign online and wanted to help out. “Some lucky person is gonna get a fine pair of boots on a cold winter day,” he said.
Shelter Nova Scotia and the Canadian Diabetes Association will sort the donations and deliver the shoes to shelters in the Halifax area.
Melissa Phillips, acting executive director of Shelter Nova Scotia, said Goodwyn reached out to them late last year and they were glad to hear about the campaign. “Our job is then to make sure that the shoes get to the people who need them,” she said. “So our intent is to have volunteers sort the shoes by size and pass out the shoes to those who need them.”
The shoes collected so far have been delivered to the Metro Turning Point shelter in Halifax. The next stop for the campaign is Fredericton. From there, Goodwyn said he eventually wants to expand Soleful Caring across the country.