A Lloydminster resident is encouraging others to step up with shoe donations for the Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre.

Alecia Denis, who is a doula with Cherish Death and Mourning, says when she found out about the uncovered mass graves of Indigenous children at a former residential school in Kamloops and began looking in the history of these facilities, she wanted to find a way to help the Indigenous community in our area.

In talking with the Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre, Denis explains she learned that they had seen people come through who needed shoes, as theirs were ill-fitting or were showing wear and tear. Also, children frequently grow out of their shoes as well.

She says that it’s a small gesture, but she is hopeful it can be positive in someone else’s life.

“Although donating shoes is not going to erase the history of abuse, neglect and humiliation and of those things that have been on First Nations peoples, I wanted to be able to do something.”

For the entire month of June, she’s encouraging all residents to get a new pair of shoes and donate them to the Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre. The Centre is looking for shoes for all sizes, ranging from children’s sizes to adults.

From there, the Centre will be getting the shoes to the people in need and overseeing that part of the initiative. Denis has already dropped off some shoes and encourages as many people as possible to do so as well.

“It feels good to give and to know people care and are aware. I feel like we need to be able to do better for our fellow humans, and when we can start spreading a little bit more love, more support and awareness, we’re going to be in a much better place.”

Denis will be providing donation updates on her business’ page all this month, and she encourages people to continue donating after June is over.