The boy’s mom struggled to buy footwear for her size 18 son, so the basketball legend intervened.

Unusual shoe and clothing sizes can be less accessible and more expensive. A mom who finally found shoes her son with extra large feet could fit into discovered she couldn’t afford them.

Growing fast

Zach Keith is growing fast. He’s 13 years old, but already wears a size 18. His mom, Brittany, is a single parent, and money is tight. Shoes are expensive, but he still needs them. So when she needed to buy her son footwear that she couldn’t afford, she turned to social media in the hope someone may donate a pair to her son.

And, wow, did it work! Brittany’s social media post happened to be viewed by CBS46 News anchor Sharon Reed, who then reached out to Shaquille O’Neal — who knows a few things about having extra-large feet.  He immediately decided to help.

Shaq intervenes

“Mom couldn’t afford shoes. The kid had big feet. I just kind of reminisced about how that used to be me, my mom and my dad,” O’Neal said. He’s in the past shared he’ll never forget the generosity shown to him by Bruce Teilhaber, owner of Friedman’s Shoes in Atlanta, a family-owned store known for carrying larger sizes, who gave him countless pairs for free when he couldn’t afford to buy them himself. 

And that’s where Shaq remains a loyal customer to this day.

So when Zach walked into the store with his mom, he was shocked and excited to run into Shaq, who bought him 10 pairs of shoes!

“I’m like, ‘Whoa, he wants to buy me shoes, out of all people?’” Zach said. O’Neal also gave Zach some cash and his personal phone number.

“I’m [gonna] take care of the kid today because somebody did it for me,” O’Neal explained. “I’m doing it for the kid…That should last him for a long time.”

Never forget where you came from

Shaq is known for his random acts of kindness, and there is something glaring in his gestures: Even though he’s famous and wealthy, he can still remember the days when he didn’t have much. It’s easy to criticize celebrities for being out of touch with reality, and some might be, but this basketball legend always stays grounded and finds ways to help out people who don’t have his privilege. And we can all take a cue from him on that front.

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Kindness Lasts Forever
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