Myrna Kines shared a story on social media about an act of kindness she witnessed from an employee at Walmart. According to Kines, she saw the young man take off his shoes and give them to a barefoot man who came to the store.
The young employee is 18-year-old Phil Powell. According to Powell, when a barefoot man entered the store, he thought he was going to purchase shoes. But once he saw the man leaving with just a soda still barefoot, he immediately followed the man outside, took off his pair of pink converse, and gave it to the homeless man. If that wasn’t touching enough, Powell also shared that his shoes were originally red in color but he bleached it pink to honor his grandmother who battled breast cancer.
In an interview with TODAY, Powell said, “It was the first time I wore the shoes to work and was worried I looked like an oddball. I have another pair of shoes. He doesn’t.” The teen has experienced living in the streets and that may have created a soft spot in his heart for homeless people. Powell was able to get on his feet: he is now working at Walmart and has enough to have a home and provide for his mom.
Kines told TODAY, “When I asked to take his photo, he looked at me and said ‘Why?’ “I told him that what he did deserved recognition.”
“I’ve been around for a while and have never seen an act of kindness like that before,” Kines continued. “It gives me hope there’s still good in the world.”
Aside from posting Powell’s story online, Kines contacted the manager of the Walmart branch, Mike Kastensmidt, to share the story and commend them for having such a great employee. Kastensmidt was moved by Powell’s deed. “He had a soft spot in his heart,” Kastensmidt told Inside Edition “It made my heart tingle.”
When the manager saw Powell only wearing socks while continuing to work, he led him to the shoe department of the store and made him choose any pair he wanted. “I thought they would be a fancy pair. He came back with a $13 pair of slip-ons and he said that’s all he needed,” Kastensmidt said.
The teen’s acts of kindness truly deserved recognition. His actions were selfless and we can all learn a thing or two about the gift of giving from this young man.