So Many Shoes

Get Social - Share this with:

“Our roads are littered with Empty Shoes.”

I think that may be the empty shoes tag line.   What do you guys think?

The Trans-Canada Highway is 8030km long according to Wikipedia.

Gracie and I were hit on October 21, 2010.

By June 21, 2014 , we could officially put a memorial marker at each kilometre of the Trans-Canada Highway from coast to coast for the Canadians  that have been killed by Impaired Drivers since Gracie was killed. (a)

One person for every kilometre from coast to coast.

“Our roads are littered with Empty Shoes”

(a)  calculated at 6 victims per day.  MADD statistics estimate 4 per day but also acknowledges it is probably low, so I choose 6.  I recognize that keeping statistics on this in Canada is poorly done.  After all, according to Stats Can our Gracie died of Cardiac Arrest, not a car crash.


5 Responses to So Many Shoes

  1. I’ve missed your blog posts, Julie.

    The carnage continues. Seems like distracted driving might be an even greater threat than drunk driving. We humans sure are geniuses at coming up with ways to kill ourselves and others, eh?

    • Hi Jody: I have missed doing the blog posts. I have had to step back from them for a while to “clear the carnage from my brain” for a while. I did The Empty Shoes Display in Kitchener but was not able to get to Parliament Hill. They declined my permit based on security reasons. Now, with the events on the Hill, I seriously doubt that they will ever let me display them there. The media has glommed onto distracted driving as the more serious issue and has basically relegated Impaired Driving to the back burner and yet Distracted Drivers were responsible for 52 deaths in 2011 and Impaired Drivers were responsible for killing approximately 2000 people in the same year. Guns were used to kill 53 people that same year. I wish I knew what to do to get people to grasp that 2000 people is 4 times the combined Homicide rate. I know that people include Impaired Driving in with Distracted Driving but I choose to separate it because Distracted Driving is usually a “spur of the moment decision” where Impaired Driving is, more often than not, a planned crime.

      Thank you for your continued support and I will get back to the blog….I promise.

      Take care.


  2. Dear Julie,
    Your story is so sad and I want to tell you I’m sorry for your lose. It is unimaginable to me. My wife lost her sister and sister-n-law to a drunk driver. For years I’ve thought of ways to help other than MADD. I came up with an idea after I saw a display of fallen soldiers and their empty boots. I came up with “project empty shoes”.
    I looked it up and then I saw your empty shoes project. I wanted to ask you if you had an issue with me using a similar name? Right now we’re just raising money for public awareness. We did a display at our local library and then gave the shoes that we had collected to our church for something called operation day of hope.
    Let me know what you think and I hope the best for you.

    • Hi Todd: I am so sorry to hear about your family’s loss. Every day I meet someone else with the same story (I am beginning to think that we should get a form letter to fill in only the specifics of name, date, and number of victims because our stories are so painfully similar). May I ask where you are located? If you are in Canada, I could probably find some people to help you out with your project as well and possible even get some shoes to you if you wanted to do a “full-size” display. I am not adverse to you using a similar name but if you are close then we may be able to work together for the same cause. When I started The Empty Shoes Project, I imagined something like The Aids Quilt that could be a travelling display. Something that could be moved around as requested. The shoes could act as a tangible way to capture people’s attention to start educating them. (as my niece said, “It’s like throwing a shoe at someone to make sure they are paying attention to what you are saying.”) Let me know if that would be of interest to you at all.

      Thank you for contacting me and asking about the name. You are welcome to use the similar name but, as I said, if you are in Canada and would like to work together (I am not as interested in fund raising to help with education but I also recognize that some may need to fundraise in order to accomplish the same things that I could. I have a lot of family that were “voluntold” to help out with a lot of things that would have otherwise cost money).

      Please let me know what you decide and how your project works out. I’d love to say that it is always a pleasure to meet others on the same journey but that means that you have had the same experience and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

      Take care.


  3. Hi Julie,
    We live in Poulsbo, Washington State USA so quite a distance from Ontario.
    I like what your niece said about throwing a shoe to make sure someone is paying attention. I think you have the right idea about education and awareness. I just looked at the Aids Quilt and I agree with your idea. My dream is to fill a football field with shoes and have a commercial during the super bowl. I wonder how all those beer advertisers would react to that. In the meantime we will be doing another “little” display around Memorial Day which is when my daughters two aunts were killed. Next fall we will be doing a MADD walk in Seattle.
    Thank you for the kind words Julie and keep up the good work.

    Take care,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *