High School Students Share their Soles with Ontario Shores Patients

March 29, 2012
Student James Gasparini with Liz Wiseman, Manager, Volunteer Services with Share your Soles shoe donation.Student Christian Gasparini and Liz Wiseman, Manager, Volunteer Services with 100 pairs of shoes collected for Ontario Shores patients.
When Christian Gasparini, Grade 10 student from All Saints Catholic Secondary School (All Saints) learned from his father, James Gasparini, Peer Support Specialist at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores), that not all mental health patients have supportive family members to provide them with basic necessities, such as adequate footwear, he took it upon himself to help those in need.

Gasparini asked his father what he could do to help the patients at Ontario Shores. Together, the father and son combination came up with the “Share your Soles” shoe drive which generated 100 pairs of shoes donated to Ontario Shores by the students of All Saints.

“I started the Share your Soles shoe drive because my mom works with special needs children and my dad works at Ontario Shores,” says Gasparini. “I wanted to give back to the people who affected my life so greatly.”

With support from his principal, Mrs. Krampp and teacher, Ms. Garant, Gasparini wrote letters, created posters and planned morning announcements at his school. Over the four-week period, 100 pairs of new and gently used shoes were donated to Ontario Shores which will be given to patients through Volunteer Services.

Gasparini provided All Saints with clear garbage bags to collect the shoes from individual classrooms. He also provided the school with bins to leave in the front foyer under the Share your Soles banner that Gasparini, along with teacher, Ms. Garant and other classmates, created.

While his father says “I’m just a proud parent. I’m very proud of my son,” 15 year-old Gasparini is grateful for the support he received from the school. “I would like to say thank you to Mrs. Krampp, Ms. Garant and all of the students at All Saints for your work,” he says. “I generally care for people with mental illness and I felt the need to give. I’m just happy I can help,” he says.

“On behalf of Volunteer Services and the clients at Ontario Shores, we thank you most sincerely for your generous donation of footwear from the amazing students at All Saints High School during your recent ‘Share your Soles’ campaign,” says Liz Wiseman, Manager, Volunteer Services. “Patients are already benefitting from your generosity.”

For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Bastarache
Communications Officer
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
905-430-4055 ext. 6583
Cell: 905-435-8623
bastarachej@ontarioshores.ca