This is the heartwarming moment a Minnesota woman pulled off her favorite purple sneakers and gave them to a homeless man who had been using cardboard boxes.
Ta Leia Thomas, also known as ‘Ace’, saw the man who had no shoes digging through the trash while working at the Brooklyn Center Liquor Store.
She immediately handed over her prized Nike Air Jordans – that represented the Minnesota Vikings, her favorite football team.
The team are aware of the story and are looking for a way to celebrate her generosity, Kare11 News reported.
‘I see his feet and I just automatically took my shoes off,’ Thomas told CBS Minnesota.
Ta Leia Thomas spotted this homeless man taking cardboard boxes from the trash at the liquor store where she worked and using them as makeshift shoes on his feet…
Thomas, whose nickname is Ace, was so upset by what she saw she beckoned the man over and began taking off her treasured Nike Air Jordans
The man gladly took the shoes, and strolled off proudly in his new footwear moments later
‘I was always taught to help others,’ Ta Leia Thomas said. ‘You never know what their problem is, or what they are going through’
The event was captured by the store’s surveillance camera.
Evidently touched by the woman’s kind-hearted gesture, the man eagerly took the donation while telling her that, ‘nobody would ever give me shoes like that.’
Thomas replied, in part, ‘well, I’m not everybody.’
‘I didn’t care about the shoes, I cared about him,’ she later told Kare11 News. ‘He didn’t know me, I didn’t know him. I just thought best to give him something he may need, that’s how I took it as.’
Thomas added that she ‘was always taught to help others. You never know what their problem is, or what they are going through.’
When the store’s operation manager Tom Agnes learned about his employees act of kindness, he said: ‘You know the old saying giving the shirt off your back. She literally gave the shoes off her feet.’
When he saw Thomas in socks helping customers he ran and bought her a new pair of shoes.
He also posted about the moment on Facebook, which garnered hundreds of cheers, likes and comments.
‘This is a true example of empathy, compassion, and holiday cheer. We can all appreciate a story like this during the holiday season,’ it said, in part.
‘We applaud Ace for her selflessness and her willingness to help those in need!’
The outside of Brooklyn Liquor store located in Minnesota
‘I wish I could have a dozens Aces on staff,’ Brooklyn Center Liquor store operations manager Tom Agnes (pictured) said
Still wanting to replace her beloved Nike Air Jordans, Agnes and a few friends in the industry came together to raise $450 for Thomas.
But, before buying the sneakers, the store supervisor discovered what she really needed was a bed for her mother.
He learned that her mother was all that she ‘has’ and that Thomas sleeps on the floor so her mother can have the bed.
Agnes said: ‘I’m like, ah. We don’t need to get Ace a pair of shoes we need to get Ace a bed. So, I gave her cash instead of the shoes to get mom a bed.’
‘I wish I could have a dozens Aces on staff,’ the store operations manager added.