Rayissa Palmer, left, and Sandy Bodnar collect shoes for the Ron White Shoe Drive.
Rayissa Palmer, left, and Sandy Bodnar collect shoes for the Ron White Shoe Drive.

The mother-daughter realty team of Sandy Bodnar and Rayissa Palmer of Sutton Group – Old Mill Realty in Toronto collected more than 100 pairs of gently used shoes in the 22nd annual Ron White Shoe Drive recently. Donations of men’s and women’s shoes are distributed to charitable organizations in the GTA including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Foundation’s Gifts of Light, the New Circles Glow clothing program and Dress for Success. Since 1996, this drive has collected 40,000 pairs of shoes for those in need.

“The shoes go to various charities, including helping women who are re-entering the workforce and need professional attire,” says Palmer. “Growing up, we supported clothing drives and women’s shelters and Sandy volunteered for years at a women’s shelter in Toronto…. Life can be tough and you never know when you are going to be up or down. If we can help even one person who happens to be down at this moment with some of the shoes that we collected, it makes it all worthwhile.”

Each year, Ron White enlists international celebrities to donate shoes and raise awareness of the event. Celine Dion, Rachel McAdams, Eric McCormick, Jeremy Irons and Matt Damon are just a few of the high-profile contributors.

White kicked off his 22nd annual shoe drive with Vanessa Williams at the Golden Globes in Beverly Hills. The pair collected shoes from celebrities and Vanessa Williams personally donated and signed the shoes she wore for the Barbara Walters interview following her Emmy nomination.


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