Arkansas Mom Buys Every Pair of Shoes from a Closing Payless Store to Help Families in Need

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

Carrie Jernigan, a mother of three, purchased nearly 1,500 pairs of shoes. She did not disclose how much she paid but her receipts indicated she saved about $21,000, although she paid just a fraction of that number. Because BOGO!!


"I'm in the schools a lot and where I live we have a very high poverty rate," Jernigan, the president of the Alma School Board, said in an interview.


"My immediate thought was, this could put so many shoes on kids that would not have new shoes to start back to school," she added.


The buyout took place in May after Jernigan’s oldest daughter asked to buy a pair of Avenger shoes for her classmate during a shopping trip that was initially intended to buy shoes for Jernigan’s children, she said.


Jernigan said as she was checking out, "I jokingly said to the clerk, 'How much would it cost to buy the rest of the shoes in here?' Next thing I know a regional manager is on the phone asking me if I seriously want the whole store," she wrote on her Facebook page last Monday.


"I was thinking, 'what have I done?'"


She added that her husband was "going to kill" her for making the big purchase.

"We ended up making a deal for the shoes left which was approximately 400 pairs of shoes," she wrote.


Jernigan said the next day she went back to the store to put all the shoes in boxes and while she was there, store employees had learned that a new delivery had come in with hundreds of more shoes. Her children said they could not leave those shoes behind.


"I said, 'we will open a few boxes, if it's kids shoes we will try and get it.' We begin to open the boxes in the back of the store and in the loading dock - box after box are kid shoes," Jernigan wrote on Facebook.


"Champions, JoJos and every different type of princess and light up shoes you can think of."


She went on to write, "12 hours, 95 big boxes, a huge trailer and approximately 1500 pairs of shoes later these 3 excited kids got to buy out the store."


Jernigan wrote that they had planned to give the shoes away before school started.

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