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Brooklyn Center liquor store employee gives her shoes to man walking with boxes on his feet

<i>WCCO</i><br/>Liquor store employee Ta Leia Thomas gave the shoes off her feet to a man that was wearing boxes as makeshift shoes.
Liquor store employee Ta Leia Thomas gave the shoes off her feet to a man that was wearing boxes as makeshift shoes.


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    BROOKLYN CENTER, Minnesota (WCCO) — If you step into Brooklyn Center Liquor store, it’s not unusual to find Ta Leia Thomas, otherwise known as “Ace” with a kind smile.

“I wish I could have a dozens Aces on staff,” Brooklyn Center Liquor store operations manager Tom Agnes said.

But it was out of the ordinary to have that kindness caught on camera.

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

It happened in a matter of seconds – and it was captured on the store’s security camera. First, a man is seen digging in the trash, then strapping boxes on his feet as makeshift shoes. Ace acts quickly, calling after the man, taking off her own shoes and giving them to him.

“I see his feet and I just automatically took my shoes off,” Thomas said.

It wasn’t just any pair of shoes. They were Thomas’s favorite pair of purple retro Jordans, representing her favorite Minnesota team.

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

She said it was an easy decision.

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

That day of kindness, Agnes bought Thomas a new pair of sneakers, so she didn’t finish her shift in just socks. He posted the positive news on Facebook – and it’s received hundreds of shares, likes and comments. Thomas has been overwhelmed with the love, replying to everyone.

But still wanting to replace her beloved shoes, Agnes and a few friends in the industry came together to raise $450 for Thomas. Before giving her the shoes, Agnes later noticed something about Thomas and decided to ask her about it.

“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. “And I’m like, ah. We don’t need to get Ace a pair of shoes we need to get Ace a bed. So, I gave her cash instead of the shoes to get mom a bed.”

Despite her needs, Thomas hopes her story inspires others to be kind.

“Everybody in the world deserves to be loved,” she said.

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