Rotary Bulletin February 12, 2015

Three announcements…

1. Monika Jatel would like remind you about the Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” event on Wednesday February 18th. She’s looking for Rotarians to bring their Sip Sample & Savour tickets to sell to representatives of the business community, and to make a good impression for Rotary. 

2. Marsel Ahmedzadegan occasionally speaks about the persecution of members of his Baha’I faith in Iran/Persia. Even as Iran starts establishing better relations with the western world (uniting against the common enemy, ISIS), the persecution of Baha’is intensifies. Marsel invites you to see the evidence for yourself at a showing of the film “To Light A Candle,” Friday February 27 at UBCO, Room 336 in the Arts building, at 7:00 p.m.

3. Gord Lugrin says that the telephone number shown for him on the Donor Form sent to you earlier this week is incorrect. It should be 250-766-1649. Before you hand out forms, please make the correction – even if you just write the correct number in. 


… and several bags of shoes

The speaker at last Thursday’s club meeting was Jim Belshaw, the Rotarian who started Soles For Souls here in Kelowna. Jim explained that the inspiration for him was the Haiti earthquake of 2010. “I saw those people climbing over the rubble of their buildings in bare feet,” he said, “and I knew I had to do something.”
                    Since then Jim has been to Haiti three times to deliver shoes from Canada. The shoes have not only gone on people’s feet, they have enabled a number of Haitians to qualify for microcredit businesses, thus building prosperity in the poorest country in the Americas. 
                    Soles For Souls has distributed over a million pairs of shoes around the world. 
                    A lot shoes have gone to Africa, but Jim has realized that a lack of proper footwear prevents many Canadians from getting a job. They need workboots, or dress shoes. He’s now working with ShelterNet BC and Food Banks BC to make shoes available here in our own province. Last year the Kelowna Food Bank gave up some of its space so that his team could open a shoe store for the homeless and needy. 
                    He is going to Ottawa soon, to set up a similar enterprise there. 
                    David Purdon, Jim’s guest at the breakfast, attested to the value of this new program. He has seen people wearing only flip-flops, in January. Since August last year, the shoe store has supplied 1829 pairs of shoes. 
                    “With a decent pair of shoes,” David said, “a person feels so much better about himself that things become more possible.”