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Footwear Drive aims to provide safety, dignity to vulnerable patients

Each winter, the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital reportedly sees dozens of patients come through their doors with frostbite on their lower extremities, and the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation is hoping to help combat this with the support of the community with a footwear drive.

Philanthropy Engagement Officer Sally Bellerose explains that many people brought to either the Emergency Department or Mental Health and Addictions Unit come in under emergency circumstances, which in a lot of cases means the patients are brought in without shoes. She says with the footwear drive, the foundation is looking to give vulnerable patients safety and dignity by being able to provide them with footwear.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could send these patients away with footwear, or while they are admitted and in hospital, they have footwear to walk around with and upon discharge can leave and go back into the community with footwear,” Bellerose says. “So we are looking for all types of footwear as some patients will wear them in the hospital while they are admitted, but ideally, we would like to see those warmer footwear items.”

She says the foundation is currently focusing on collecting footwear for adults, for both men and women, from sizes six to 14, and are looking for both indoor and outdoor shoes, including slippers, runners, boots, and even the hot paws, which can be put in boots to help keeps residents feet warm.

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The footwear drive is happening throughout November with drop-off locations at the entrance of the Festival of Trees, along with the 2day FM office. Bellerose says those interested can also email the foundation and set up a drop-off time at the hospital.

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