Everyday Heroes

Woman Buys Out Payless Shoe Store to Help Kids in Need

Her purchase is helping families in her community and beyond


Carrie Jernigan of Alma, Arkansas was out on a typical shopping trip with her kids when she noticed that the Payless shoe store at her local mall was going out of business. After joking with the cashier about how much it would cost to buy the last of the inventory, she made a deal with the store and bought the remaining 400 pairs of shoes.

"I was thinking, what have I done!" Jernigan told Fox News . She added, jokingly, that her husband was "going to kill her" for spending so much.

Jernigan, who lives in an impoverished area of Arkansas, knew how big of an impact the donations would have in her community. She also serves as the president of the Alma School Board and sees firsthand how some families struggle to provide their kids with school supplies every year, let alone a new pair of shoes.

When she came back to the store the next day to pack up the shoes, another large shipment of mostly children's shoes just happened to come in. After encouragement from her kids, and some swift negotiating, Jernigan purchased those pairs as well.

Jernigan is working with the community to plan a Kickstart event at Alma Middle School where the shoes, and other donations, will be distributed to families. In a series of Facebook posts, Jernigan has shared her shock and awe that so many people know about her story and want to learn more about how they can help.

"What a week," she said in a Facebook post . "I never in a million years expected a response like this. I have read each and every comment and message from everyone and it has just left me speechless."

You can contribute to the River Valley Kickstart event by volunteering and donating items (if you're local), or if you're not local you can still send shoes and donations for the drive to 2501 Fayetteville Road, Van Buren, AR 72956.

Just check out Jernigan's Facebook page for updates and more info on how to get involved. You can also donate money by text - just text the word "kickstart" and the amount you want to give to 479-316-3245.

You can also contribute to her daughter Harper's Back to School Shoe Drive fundraiser by donating via the GoFundMe page .

(Source: images Carrie Jernigan Facebook page )

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