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Kitchener woman has lot of sole

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She's collecting running shoes for Kenya before leaving on month-long safari


KITCHENER (Jul 13, 2007)

Candice Dosman is going on a lifelong dream trip to Africa.

In addition to clothes and personal items, she's taking running shoes -- lots of them.

The 29-year-old Kitchener woman has been collecting gently-used running shoes for about six weeks and has about 200 pairs piled in her small apartment.

"I believe in giving back when you can to those less fortunate, said the child services' worker with Family and Children's Services of Waterloo Region.

Dosman will be collecting more from family and friends in the weeks to come. She has even received shoes from strangers.

The reaction of those donating runners has surprised her.

"It's been overwhelming and nice to see the support, she said. "It really warms my heart and I'm really excited.

Dosman will be joining a childhood friend who lives in Melbourne, Australia, on the month-long safari. She leaves Aug. 24 and returns Sept. 21.

She flies into Nairobi, Kenya, and will visit Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda or the Congo. They will be camping in tents along the way.

Dosman's taking the shoes to Kenya where runners are often hard to find and buy.

Dosman, an avid runner, wanted to bring something to the African people and got the idea when reading a magazine article about the difficulty of finding good running shoes in Africa.

As someone who runs five to 10 kilometres about three times a week, she couldn't imagine not having proper shoes.

So how is she going to get the shoes there? It's a question everyone asks.

Initially, she thought she might collect 100 pairs and buy a big duffel bag. But now there's too many and she's looking for a sponsor who will assist her in paying the bill to get the shoes overseas. When Dosman arrives, she will deliver the shoes to the Rotary Club of Nairobi who will distribute the runners.

At the end of her trip, she will spend a few days in Nairobi and visit schools and orphanages where the shoes will have been distributed.

Some donors have left notes in the shoes, explaining the significance of the shoe, others leaving their home addresses and e-mail address.

She will wash the shoes and replace some of the laces and soles.

If you would like to donate shoes, Dosman is taking women's and children's runners.

She can be contacted by e-mail at or runners can be dropped of at Runner's Choice, 247 King St. W., Waterloo.

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