Store employee gives shoes to man wearing boxes on feet

Published: Dec. 10, 2022 at 2:04 AM CST
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BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (WCCO) - If customers step into Brooklyn Center Liquor Store, it’s not unusual to find Ta Leia Thomas, otherwise known as “Ace,” with a kind smile.

“I wish I could have a dozen Aces on staff,” says Tom Agnes, Brooklyn Center Liquor operations manager.

It was out of the ordinary to have that kindness captured on camera.

“I came back from lunch on Tuesday and Ace is helping customers and helping people out in her socks,” says Agnes.

It happened in a matter of seconds.

First, a man is seen digging in the trash, then strapping boxes on his feet as makeshift shoes.

But Thomas acts quickly.

“I see his feet and I just automatically took my shoes off,” Thomas says.

They were not just any shoes. They were Thomas’ favorite pair of purple retro Jordans representing her favorite Minnesota team.

“You know the old saying, ‘Give the shirt off your back?’ She literally gave the shoes off her feet,” Agnes says.

Thomas said it was an easy decision.

“He said nobody would ever have given me shoes like that. And I said, Well I’m not everybody.’ And he was like. ‘Thank you so much,’ and I see him walking away and he’s walking away with pride,” Thomas describes.

Thomas hopes her story inspires others to be kind in return.

“If my shoes can help make the world a better place, you can have them,” she says.

Thomas’ manager bought her a new pair of sneakers so she didn’t have to finish her shift in just socks.