Shoe Therapy

A certain bus driver in Winnipeg is the kind of guy who’ll give you the clothes off his back – or, at least, the shoes off his feet. That’s exactly what Kris Doubledee did on Tuesday morning, in front of a busload of witnesses. The passengers on his route watched, drop-jawed, as the driver stopped his bus and removed his footwear, calling out to a shoeless man in need. The temperature was around 6 degrees Celsius. Plenty cold enough to freeze your footsies.

“This is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this,” passenger Denise Campbell told reporters. According to Campbell, another woman on the bus exclaimed to the driver: “That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen! Why did you do that?” Kris responded, “Because I couldn’t stand seeing somebody walking barefoot in this temperature.”

Quite the act of charity. I don’t know if I could sacrifice my shoes – maybe if I drove a heated vehicle, instead of relying on my feet as my primary mode of transportation. But I did try to give my socks to a homeless woman once. She was in a sleeping bag on the sidewalk and, disturbingly, her bare toes stuck out the end. I regret to say I woke her from a sweet deep slumber. As she blinked to awareness, I asked her if she’d like to have my socks. By way of a response, she lifted the top flap of her sleeping bag, pointing out the thick pair she’d tucked inside for safekeeping. (Presumably, sock theft while sleeping is just one of many hazards of street living.)

Kudos to the transit driver for his kindness. Strangely, no one knew his name at first, and it took some effort by media to track him down. (Kris, apparently, tends not to seek the spotlight.) But in an update to the story yesterday, he referred to his amazing act as “automatic.” He added that he’d seen the same man walking barefoot just the day before. “It was something that come to me and I could do something about it.”

Love this part: in a CBC online poll, over 80% of respondents agreed that Kris’s story inspired them to do something generous for another person. From one pair of used shoes to hundreds more good deeds… fantastic on a Friday.

A pair of Jimmy Choo high-heeled sandals

Maybe I’d keep my Jimmy Choos… (Kidding! The combined cost of all the shoes I own would be less than the precious price tag on these puppies.)

2 responses to “Shoe Therapy

  1. Great story – an ordinary hero, who doesn’t like the limelight. How wonderful that his act of kindness inspired so many more actions.

  2. You’re so right, Cheryl – there’s something to be said for doing good in front of witnesses! Thanks for the comment.

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