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Mom buys out entire Payless store to give shoes to kids in need

Mom buys every shoe at Payless
Mom buys every shoe at Payless 01:58

An Arkansas mom was shopping at a local Payless recently, and ended up buying every single pair of shoes in the store. The shopping spree wasn't for her kids — it was to help others in need.

Carrie Jerrigan said when she was looking around at shoes, her daughter found an "Avengers" themed pair. She didn't want them for herself, she wanted to buy them for someone who needed them more. 

"She has the biggest heart, and she said, 'There is a boy in my class that loves Avengers and his shoes are too small, could you buy him these?' And I was like, 'of course,'" Jerrigan told CBS Fort Smith, Arkansas, affiliate KFSM-TV.

Carrie Jerrigan was inspired by her daughter to buy out an entire Payless and give the shoes – 1,500 pairs – away to kids in need. Carrie Jerrigan

Her daughter's desire to help someone else sparked an idea in Jerrigan, and when she went up to the register, she had an epiphany. The Payless store was closing, so she asked how much it would cost to buy out the entire store.

"I could see the clerk's face, her wheels start to turn. And she finished checking me out and said, 'Can I have your number?'" Jerrigan remembered. Later that day, she got a call from the store's district manager.

Jerrigan could buy out the store, the manager said. However, they just received a new shipment of shoes, so she would no longer be taking home hundreds, like she thought.

What Jernigan thought was going to be 200 to 300 pairs of shoes ended up more than tripling. "The next thing you know, we are trying to figure out how to get almost 1,500 shoes home with us that day," she said.

Jerrigan plans to give all 1,500 to kids in need. To do so, the family plans on holding a back-to-school event, where they'll hand out pairs of shoes.

For now, the Jerrigan home is filled with shoe boxes. The family will be giving them away on August 10 at a back-to-school event. Jerrigan did not say how much all the shoes cost her, but she's giving them away for free. KFSM

The event will be Aug. 10 at the Alma Middle School Gym. The Jerrigans will also be partnering with Kibler Baptist Church to give away school supplies.

Until then, they're home will be filled with shoes. But Jerrigan is happy she got to show her kids how to give back to those in need.

"If you ask them what they want to be when they grow up, they say be kind. And so, I don't care what they do in life as long as they are kind and good people," Jernigan said. "It just reiterates to me that their hearts are in the right place. And if it's in the right place, they can do amazing things."

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