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How one woman’s decision to buy up a shoe store spiraled into a community event

Carrie Jernigan

Harper Jernigan | GoFundMe | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 08/05/19

One act of kindness can indeed become a movement.

On a regular trip to a shoe store with her daughters, one mom from Arkansas ended up buying the whole stock of shoes; nearly a whopping $21,000 worth of footwear.

Mom of three Carrie Jernigan was with her two daughters when they went into Payless, a store that was actually closing down, to pick out some new shoes. Once in the shop, Jernigan’s eldest daughter, Harper, 9, noticed some Avengers shoes. Her first thought was to buy these shoes for a kid in her class who loved the film and was in need of a bigger pair of shoes. “She has the biggest heart,” the mom reported to KFSM.

Jernigan further explained in a report by for GMA that as she didn’t know the child’s size she so joked with the sales assistant that she should buy up the whole shop. After a few phone calls to the manager, the kind-hearted mom bought 1,500 pairs of shoes to give to those in need.

Yet the story becomes even more incredible when others in Jernigan’s community decided to join her efforts to help those less fortunate.

Jernigan initially purchased all the shoes back in May, but realized the optimal time to give them away would be when kids really need new shoes — when they go back to school. (Although we should also mention that she bought a substantial amount of adult shoes to give to those in need, too.) So, the mom decided to create an event to giveaway the footwear at the local middle school in Alma, Arkansas, on August 10.

“It’s turned into this huge back to school bash for our community,” reported Jernigan. Alongside the footwear, 700 backpacks and huge amounts of school supplies have been donated, and hair stylists will be on hand to make sure kids are looking their best when the school bell rings. There will also be some fun activities for the kids to finish off their summer vacations in style.

Jernigan is hoping that although her kids initially inspired this unusual shopping spree, she hopes that this act of kindness will encourage her kids to look out for others, too. It’s not that her family is wealthy; “[people] think that I have a lot of money and I don’t at all. I felt something on my heart and I just followed it.”

You can read the full GMA story here.

Holding Bag

Read more:
8 Secret acts of kindness that anyone can do

Read more:
Back to School Tip for Moms and Dads

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