Published: 2011-06-06 10:57:00
Author: Fallon Hudson
MOST of us would not know what it was like not to own a pair of shoes – especially during the winter months.
So this winter two podiatrists from Podiatry Mackay, Jemma Riddiford and Rebecca Calligan, are hoping to put shoes on the feet of the city’s homeless this winter.
The Inaugural June 2011 Shoe Muster For Those In Need is aiming to collect shoes this month to donate to the homeless during the cold months.
So far they have had 30 pairs of shoes donated by businesses and individuals in the community.
Ms Riddiford says the duo got the idea after seeing a homeless man trying to walk on the cold streets of Mackay without any shoes.
“I was driving to work and I saw a man in a wheelchair pulling himself across the road with his bare feet,” she said.
“My first reaction was to feel extremely sad for this gentleman, and then I felt guilty thinking about how many shoes I have that I never wear, and that someone else could be taking advantage of them.”
The lack of footwear can cause serious health complications for the homeless.
“Lack of protective shoes in an environment like ours can be dangerous for the health of your feet. This includes simple problems like cuts, bites and bruises right through to more extreme problems like infections and ulceration. ”
But Ms Riddiford says more help is needed.
“We have already secured the help of many local people, which is great,” she said.
“But Mackay’s homeless population is very high, and we want to get shoes on as many feet as we can.
“People might be able to donate good second-hand pairs of shoes they no longer need or wear, or a second pair of shoes going cheap or on sale.
“We need shoes for men and women, and children as well – unfortunately children are often made homeless by circumstances out of their control.”
So if you have a spare pair of shoes and would like to donate to the shoe muster you can drop of shoes at Podiatry Mackay, Athletes Foot, Kaytown Shoes and Sports Power until June 30.