Today, Eskimos President and CEO Len Rhodes, in partnership with Reebok, donated 296 pairs of shoes to WIN House, also known as the Edmonton Women’s Shelter.

“My firsthand experience growing up in a household where there was domestic violence, has unfortunately given me knowledge in this whole area,” said Len Rhodes, President and CEO of the Edmonton Eskimos. ” The fact that some people have to flee their own homes for personal safety and at times, without the actual shoes on their feet makes this donation really important.”

“This is our sixth year where I have reached out to my friends and former colleagues at Reebok to partner with us in helping the women and children that go through the doors at WIN House and together we have now surpassed 1,800 pairs of donated shoes. I am genuinely grateful for their support in this cause.”

Today’s donation provides enough footwear to allow the women and children the shelter serves over the next year to focus on self-healing and not worry about basic necessities.

Throughout Edmonton and area, for nearly five decades, WIN House has given women and children of all ages and cultures a safe place to flee – 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year. From passionate professionals and volunteers, to dedicated donors and champions of the cause, WIN House is committed to providing safety, support, relief and resources for abuse victims.

“With the incredible Len Rhodes-Edmonton Eskimos Shoe Initiative, WIN House has been able to provide over 1,800 pairs of brand new shoes to women and children since the fall of 2012 . ” says Tess Gordey, Executive Director of WIN House. ” This is no small feat: this is 1,800 women and children protected from harsh weather elements.”

“Each pair has marked the first steps in a journey towards an abuse-free life. WIN House and the entire Edmonton community are very humbled, inspired and grateful for the support from these champs. ”

The annual donation is one of several initiatives the Green and Gold support to end violence against women and children.

The Edmonton Eskimos partner with the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters on the Leading Change program. Through the program, select players underwent three days of intensive training in gender-based violence prevention and present the messages to young athletes, coaches and students at community events and schools.