Arkansas Family Donates 1,500 Pairs of Shoes Purchased From Closing Payless Store

Amid Payless’ bankruptcy, there’s a silver lining: A family purchased more than 1,500 shoes to donate to those in need.

When Arkansas mom Carrie Jernigan headed with her kids to their local Payless store in May, her daughter asked if they could purchase “Avengers” sneakers for a boy in her class with too-small shoes.

“I was, like, ‘of course,’ ” Jernigan told her local CNN affiliate, WHNT. “As I was checking out I just said, ‘how much for the rest of the shoes in the store,’ almost joking and I could see the [clerk’s] face — her wheels start to turn and she finished checking me out. She said ‘can I have your number?’”

That same day, the family received a call from the store’s district manager, asking them if they wanted to purchase the remaining shoes in the soon-to-close Payless. Soon after, the family was bringing around 1,500 shoes to their house.

“I always tell my kids, if you ask them what they want to be when they grow up, they say be kind. And so I don’t care what they do in life as long as they are kind and good people,” Jernigan said. “And so [my daughter asking to buy shoes for a classmate] just reiterates to me that their hearts are in the right place.”

On Aug. 10, the family is celebrating the start of the new year with a back-to-school bash at their local middle school. They’ll be giving away school supplies to those in need at the event.

The Jernigans were not the only ones to take advantage of Payless’ closures. In April, Kansas woman Addison Tritt bought out an entire Payless for $100. She then donated the shoes to victims of Nebraska’s devastating floods as part of a relief effort for farmers.

Meanwhile, it’s been five months since Payless filed for bankruptcy, for the second and final time, and began liquidating all 2,500 of its stores. The end of Payless left an opening for other low-priced mass merchants, like Walmart, Target and Kohl’s, to take over the chain’s market share.

Watch the video below to see Arielle Charnas talk the best place to shop for kids and more.

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