Carrie Jernigan too her 9-year-old daughter to a Payless shoe store in Alma, Arkansas, and to do some shopping. Her daughter asked a favor. "There's this boy in my class that loves Avengers tennis shoes, and his are two small. Could you buy him a pair?" Mom agreed, and on the way out, almost joking, she asked the cashier, "How much for all the shoes in the store?" Last February, Payless announced that all its stores in the US would close. The district manager called Carrie to say she could buy the store's remaining stock before it closed. She expect to buy about 350 pairs of shoes, to donate to folks who needed them.


When she returned to pay for them, she learned another shipment had just arrived, so instead of buying 350 pairs of shoes, she purchased 1,500 pairs. They only cost $21,000.00, and she decided to donate the shoes to local schools. "I wanted these kids to have brand new shoes to start school," she said. On August 10, she and a Baptist church will host a back-to-school event at the Alma Middle School gym where parents and children can get school supplies and a free pair of shoes just before classes begin.