When Ta Leia Thomas saw a man walking with boxes on his feet she stepped in to help.

When you step into Brooklyn Center Liquor store in Minnesota, you’ll be greeted with a kind smile by Ta Leia Thomas, also known as “Ace” by her co-workers.

One day Tom Agnes, the store operations manager, came back from lunch and found Thomas helping customers as usual. But something was different.

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

He asked what happened, and she told him she gave her sneakers to a man with no shoes.

How One Woman Gave the Shoes off Her Feet to Help a Homeless Man

woman giving a man the shoes off of her feet
Brooklyn Center Liquor/Facebook

Agnes checked and it was all captured on the store’s security camera.

Thomas spotted a man rummaging through the free cardboard boxes at the front of the store. When she saw him selecting two boxes to uses as shoes for his sock-covered feet, she acted.

She quickly called after him, pulled off her favorite purple retro Jordans and handed them over to the stranger without hesitation.

Thomas says her reaction was automatic — she saw his feet and just automatically took off her shoes.

“He said, ‘nobody would ever give me shoes like that,'” Thomas said. “And I said, well, ‘I’m not everybody.'”

She said the decision was an easy one.

“I was always taught to help others,” she said. “You never know what their problem is, or what they are going through.”

How One Woman Proved Kindness Leads to More Kindness

woman wearing black clothes and a black hat

Agnes bought Thomas a new pair of sneakers, so she didn’t finish her shift in her socks. He also posted the positive news on Facebook and it went viral.

“Thank you Ace for your show of pure kindness and love. Not only did you show that man compassion and hope, you’ve surely inspired others to be more kind,” one commenter wrote.

“The world needs more Ace’s around,” another one wrote.

Still wanting to replace Thomas’ beloved shoes, Agnes and a few friends raised $450 for her. But before giving her the shoes, Agnes asked Thomas about something he saw she posted on social media.

“She kept posting on social media about her mom that she wants to take care of her mom and I and what’s going on with your mom Ace? She said, ‘she’s all I have in this world. I take care of her she doesn’t have a bed. So, she sleeps in my bed, and I sleep on the floor,'” Agnes said.

Instead of buying the shoes, the group gave Thomas the cash instead to get her mom a bed.

Kindness led to more kindness; but it didn’t stop there.

Brooklyn Center Liquor celebrated Thomas’s act of goodwill by partnering with CEAP, their community safety net, to hold a warmth for the winter drive to collect hats, coats, mittens and shoes.

“I honestly appreciate all the love, comment and words. It means the world to me. I want the world to know there are kind hearted people in this world,” Thomas wrote under the stores original Facebook post.

She definitely showed us there are kind hearted people out there. She also showed us that a small act of kindness can make a huge difference and cause a ripple effect.


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