When Victoria resident Ben Parisien spotted Facebook comments about people needing shoes for their kids, he decided to spring into action.
About a week ago, CBC Indigenous published an article about how the Colin Kaepernick controversy has sparked an initiative in Canada to donate Nike shoes to First Nations youth who needed them.
The article was posted on Facebook and garnered comments from parents and community members desperately seeking shoes for their kids.
Seeing this level of demand, Ben Parisien decided to take matters into his own hands and asked these commenters to inbox him, letting him know how many shoes they need, what sizes, and the address to send them to.
And that’s how he started a one-man movement.
Parisien created a Facebook fundraiser on September 12th to help him cover the costs of buying shoes and shipping them all over the country.
So far, he’s had requests come in from various cities and villages across BC, Ontario, and Manitoba, and has already shipped out two sets of shoes to kids who need them to participate in sports and activities.
In the future, Parisien hopes to expand the project by building a website with the help of a volunteer who wanted to aid the movement.
“I want to start my own charity eventually,” he told Victoria Buzz. “But for now it’s just about getting shoes and getting them out the door. I don’t want to waste fundraising money to set up a charity group.”
How you can contribute
If you have funds to spare, you can donate to the cause by clicking here. For those who want to get involved, Parisien says his Facebook page is an open door.
“Anybody can add me on Facebook or inbox me. A few people have reached out to me who don’t have money or shoes but they offered to help me, like the guy who wants to help set up the website,” he said. Click here to view Parisien’s Facebook page.
Parisien grew up in Lake Cowichan and Victoria, and has lived on Vancouver Island his entire. He was inspired to give back to the community after seeing his father do the same thing, and wants to set an example for his own 6-year-old son.