Rack of shoes

Make room for Ron White

It’s been a month since Christmas. You’ve had a chance to evaluate which gifts you like and don’t like, what you’re going to take back and what you’re going to keep.

That makes this the perfect time to cull the closet, get rid of what you don’t wear and set yourself up for spring.

If you come across any gently worn winter shoes or boots you don’t think you’re going to wear anymore, bring them to the 20th annual Ron White Shoe Drive, happening right now at Ron White Shoes on the First Level next to the 44 Charles resident entrance.

The event has collected over 35,000 pairs of men’s, women’s and kids’ shoes in the two decades since it began, including footwear from famous Canadians like Russell Peters, Celine Dion, Hayden Christensen, Toronto Mayor John Tory and others.

And if you’re thinking, “Well, it’s been a pretty mild winter with no snow — folks don’t need winter boots,” we’d ask you to put yourself in the shoes of a Syrian refugee who’s never seen snow before and has probably never experienced below-freezing temperatures. All he or she wants to do is get up in the morning and pound the pavement. You need good shoes for that. And warm shoes if you’re going to be doing it in February.

In fact, Ron White has said he’s dedicating a significant portion of donations to the New Circles GLOW clothing program to help newcomers from Syria. The other beneficiary of this year’s drive is the Suits Me Fine at CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), a clothing store on the CAMH campus that helps patients dress appropriately for job interviews and other events.

But what’s in it for you (besides more closet space)?

You’ll get the satisfaction of knowing you made a difference in someone’s life. But if that’s not quite enough, you’ll also get a $50 coupon towards a future purchase at Ron White Shoes — just in time for the spring looks you’ll find in store and the summer styles that are starting to trickle through.

All Ron asks is that you spread the word by sharing what you donate on social media with #RWShoeDrive.

“This year we want to leverage social media to increase awareness and double our collection goal,” said Ron. And with your help, we know they can do it.

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