Mother of three Carrie Jernigan, told Fox News that she bought almost 1,500 pairs of shoes in total. Her receipts indicated she saved about $21,000, paying just a fraction of that.
Jernigan, who is the president of the Alma School Board, told Fox News:
“I’m in the schools a lot and where I live we have a very high poverty rate. My immediate thought was, this could put so many shoes on kids that would not have new shoes to start back to school”.
The decision to clear the store out came about when she was out shopping with her children, and her oldest daughter asked to buy a pair of Avengers shoes to give to a classmate.
At the checkout she joked with the clerk saying, ‘How much would it cost to buy the rest of the shoes in here?’.
Before she knew it the regional manager was on the phone asking if she was serious about it. She then made a deal with the manager for all the remaining shoes left, approximately 400 pairs.
Jernigan went back the next day to pick up the shoes and while there the store employees informed her that a fresh delivery of hundreds more shoes had arrived that day. Her children told her “immediately” that she couldn’t leave those shoes behind.
Jernigan wrote on Facebook.
“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. Champions, JoJos and every different type of princess and light up shoes you can think of.”
It turned into a long day for the family:
“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.”
The plan is to give away all the shoes to kids who need them before the start of the new school year.
She said that the “response has been amazing” with local business, churches and residents all coming together to hold a Back to School event in August 10, where students and families in the River Valley will receive the shoes along with other donated items, including backpacks and school supplies.