When customers walk into Brooklyn Center Liquor Store, it’s not uncommon to see Ta Leia Thomas, also known as “Ace,” with a friendly smile.
“I wish I could have a dozen Aces on staff,” says Tom Agnes, operations manager at Brooklyn Center Liquor.
It was unusual to have that act of kindness captured on camera.
“I came back from lunch on Tuesday and Ace was helping customers and people out in her socks,” Agnes says.
It happened in a split second.
A man is first seen digging through the trash, then strapping boxes to his feet as makeshift shoes.
However, Thomas acts quickly.
“I saw his feet and I just took my shoes off,” Thomas says.
They were not ordinary shoes. Thomas’ favorite purple retro Jordans represented her favorite Minnesota team.
“Do you remember the old adage, ‘Give the shirt off your back?’ “She literally kicked off her shoes,” Agnes says.
It was an easy decision, according to Thomas.
“He said no one would have ever given me shoes like that.” And I replied, ‘Well, I’m not everyone.’ And then he was like. ‘Thank you so much,’ he says, and I see him walking away with pride,” Thomas says.
Thomas hopes that her story will encourage others to be kind in return.
“You can have my shoes if they help make the world a better place,” she says.
Thomas’ boss bought her a new pair of sneakers so she wouldn’t have to work the entire shift in socks.