Happy feet just might spell happy life

My friend just invented a great little product that, at first glance, seems insignificant.

My friend just invented a great little product that, at first glance, seems insignificant.

Handing me two tiny pieces of clear flexible plastic that looked like drinking glasses for Barbie and Ken, she demonstrated their actual purpose by slipping them onto the heels of her stilettos.

“Now, Bob won’t insist we take our shoes off in the house,” she said, referring to her husband’s desire to protect their hardwood flooring. Smart. I can’t stand taking my shoes off and ruining my party outfit.

“They also solve the problem of walking on grass,” she said excitedly. “Like at a garden wedding.”

Smart again. I’ve sunk into the soft ground a few times myself. It wasn’t graceful.

With a patent pending, Dana’s “Heelio Dealios” are quickly becoming a hit at wedding shows and shoe stores where their usefulness is recognized immediately.

“I’m pretty clutzy,” one fashionable young lady told me. “I wear them to keep from slipping.”

Armed with a little pair of my own, I went home and put them on the beautiful high heels I wore to my friend’s outdoor wedding last year. I first had to clean off some of the dried-up mucky grass still stuck to the bottom, but once I did, my new additions fit like a glove.

After trying the caps on a few other pairs, it became obvious that I owned a lot of shoes that I barely wore. Some of them still had price tags attached – yet a layer of dust over them. What a waste.

Grabbing a large bin, I started filling it with all the shoes I knew would be much better used and appreciated by someone other than me. It was hard to part with them initially, but anything that didn’t fit my feet comfortably or wasn’t something I had worn in the last year was thrown in the bin. My feelings of guilt over rarely wearing them were quickly replaced with feelings of relief than someone would.

I then asked my husband and kids to do the same with their shoes so we could donate them to the charity “Soles 4 Souls,” which has drop boxes all over B.C., Canada and the United States.

I first heard about this organization through my friend Don Robichaud, who passed away suddenly five weeks ago. He was passionate about the project and became heavily involved when his friend Jim Belshaw, the owner of Roy’s Shoes, wanted to introduce “Soles 4 Souls” to Kelowna.

Hoping to collect a couple of thousand pairs of shoes to donate after the earthquake in Haiti, they ended up collecting over 45,000 pairs their very first year. Since then their team has collected 300,000 pairs locally, and the organization’s goal is to now collect a million shoes per province all across Canada.

“People like this charity because anyone can participate,” Jim said. “And the local agencies get first crack at the donations before they’re shipped overseas, so we’re helping out at home as well.”

Catering to people who might not even own one pair of shoes, I felt hesitant about donating my frivolous high heels.

But after learning that all types were needed, I knew they’d end up in good hands, and on good feet. That made me happy. Who knows — maybe someone will wear a pair of my pretty pumps to a job interview.

As a bonus, I attached a pair of Heelio Deadlio’s inside the stilettos — just in case their new owner ends up walking on hardwood floors or soft green grass after they land a really great job.

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