“Get me those shoes” – Wizard of Oz

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Okay, I am starting to feel like the Wicked Witch of the West or Imelda Marcos (please don’t reply that you don’t know who either of them are – I am already feeling very old)

The truth is that I really need shoes from people.  I have heard from a few of you but if we want to make an impact, I can’t really show up in Ottawa with 30 pairs of shoes.  I want to be overwhelmed (I can’t believe that I am saying that) with the number of shoes that show up.  I want to struggle with the logistics of where to store the shoes, how to get the shoes to Ottawa, and where to put them in Ottawa.

I am looking for shoes representing victims and survivors.  I have a picture in my head of building a quilt of shoes for each victim/survivor.  If you look at the AIDS quilt, each victim of the disease had a whole quilt with multiple panels done by friends and family and then all of the quilts were combined.  Instead of 1 foot square panels used to make each person’s quilt, I would like to put a pair of shoes there.  That way we can give a full picture of the victim/survivor from all of their family and friends’ perspectives.

Until now, I have not posted where the shoes can be sent (mostly because I wasn’t sure yet).  Thank you to my sister (and the women that work for her).  She has agreed that the shoes can be sent to her business so that someone will be there all day to receive them.  She was away and I didn’t want to voluntell her.  I suspect that I will be voluntelling a lot of my family and friends for jobs before this is over.

So, if you are sending shoes please send them to:

Empty Shoes Project

c/o The Storage Place

381 Clyde Road

Cambridge, ON

N1R 5S7


Instructions for shoes.  Please make sure to use a permanent marker to put their name on the shoes (bottom, tongue or inside).  Please send a picture to go with the shoes.  Please send a note about the victim/survivor and perhaps a little bit about what the shoes reflect about the person for you.  As an example, I think that I am going to decorate Gracie’s flippers. Also, please don’t send me anything sentimental.  I can’t promise that I can get the shoes back (in fact, please don’t expect them back).  I wouldn’t want to promise something that I couldn’t follow through on.

If you want to help out but haven’t lost someone to this crime, then perhaps find someone that wants to send shoes and offer to pay for shipping if they can’t afford to.  And the shoes do not have to be new.  My sister has 4 kids that all want to send shoes for Grace and so my sister is going to go through their shoe closet and use their shoes to decorate.  Marker, stickers, sequins and glitter can cover a lot of wear and tear.

I know that there are a lot of us out there.  This needs to change.  My short term goal is to make a big impact with the sheer number of shoes that I display.  My long term goal is to never need to receive another pair of shoes.  This is one job that I hope to work myself out of but I can’t do it alone.

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