Wouldn’t it be great to pay less? Wouldn’t it be even greater to help those who couldn’t afford to pay anything?

Payless filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and a location in Hamilton (Mercer County) was selling off their shoe inventory for as little as $1 a pair. A couple from New Egypt, Patrick Riordan and Susan Cook saw a perfect opportunity. An opportunity not for themselves but for others. They went into the store and launched a buying frenzy of footwear; women’s shoes, children’s shoes, sandals, sneakers, everything. They cleaned out the place.

Then they headed to Lawrenceville. There, a shelter called Womanspace was given 11 bags of one of the largest varieties of shoes they’d ever since.

Emergency Services Director Reyna Carothers told nj.com, ”Sometimes the selection in our donations is not too diverse, but the quantity and variety of this donation was amazing. We sorted through the donation and started handing the women things they could use right away -- sandals, flip flops, and slippers. Just to see their faces and how happy they are is very rewarding.”

Susan Cook put it quite simply to CBS 3. “Kindness is something that should be shared and shown.”


Again, this couple saw an opportunity. But it's because they were looking for one. Many of us will help someone if they're right under our feet, like a homeless person as we step onto a train platform. Many of us will help with a problem if it's right under our nose, like your next door neighbor struggling with a piece of furniture. This couple reminds us we should all be more creative and keep our eyes open for such opportunities. In everyone's busy life with so much stress on responsibility it's easy to develop tunnelvision. Many days we have to to survive. But if we open our hearts and our eyes and look around, we'll see small opportunities every day for a random act of kindness.

Okay I'll get off my soapbox now. And hey, since I'm not using it anymore, I wonder if anyone can use this soapbox? Hmmm. See what I did there?

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