One of a growing number of chains to fall victim to today’s challenging retail environment, Payless is in the midst of closing all of its 2,100 stores across the United States and Puerto Rico to the disappointment of its many loyal customers. But one Kansas resident has managed to find a silver lining in the situation.
Addison Tritt, a recent graduate of Fort Hays State University, paid a visit to her local Payless in Hays’ Big Creek Crossing shopping center, where shoes were being liquidated for just $1 a pair. Seeing an opportunity, 25-year-old Tritt negotiated with the store to buy up its remaining inventory — about 200 pairs — for $100, paying only half the cost of the shoes. She then donated the footwear, which included more than 160 baby styles and about 40 adult pairs, to victims of Nebraska’s devastating floods as part of a relief effort for farmers undertaken by FHSU’s agriculture sorority, Sigma Alpha.
Tritt — who is no stranger to charitable endeavors, focusing much of her efforts on collecting much-needed items for babies and animal shelters — shrugged off the praise she is receiving for her good deed. “I don’t want or expect the attention. I am so blessed, and I get such a rush and pure enjoyment from giving to others,” she told FN, citing her Catholic faith as a major inspiration for her generous spirit. “I believe helping people is part of God’s plan for me. I hope others who are looking for purpose or direction can take my donation and [be inspired to] create their own. [Giving back brings you such] fulfillment and happiness — it’s the best feeling ever.”
As recovery efforts get underway in Nebraska, Gov. Pete Ricketts described his state’s record flooding — which was triggered by a bomb cyclone storm that swept the Midwest — as the “most widespread disaster we have had in our history.” Officials estimate that the cost of damage has surpassed $1 billion, including crop and livestock losses, damage to roads, levees and other infrastructure, and destruction to homes and business across the state. The flooding has impacted a staggering 79 of Nebraska’s 93 counties.
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