“What’s that squeaking noise?” asked Meg of her 8-year-old daughter, Haley. She looked at her daughter’s shoes and noticed that the soles of her sneakers were torn.
One day, Meg and Haley came home from school just before the rain stopped falling. Water on the road had seeped into Haley’s damaged shoes, making a squishy sound.
Meg immediately took her daughter to a shoe store to buy her a new pair of sneakers. The money she had was earmarked for grocery shopping, but she thought it was more important to buy Haley a new pair of shoes…
“That one, yes, those pink shoes on the shelf under the blue shoes,” Meg explained to the saleswoman.
“What do you think of these?”. Meg heard Haley ask this question. She turned and saw her daughter checking the shoes in the boys’ section.
Meg frowned and walked over to her daughter.
“Mom, I want those limited edition sneakers. Buddy loves that TV show and is always telling me how he wishes he could wear shoes like these.”
Meg was surprised. Not only did she not have the money to afford two pairs of shoes, she wondered why Haley was so eager to get her classmate Buddy a new pair of shoes.
“Why do you want to buy your classmate new shoes?”
Haley’s smile turned to despair.
“Buddy comes from a very poor family, Mom. Poorer than us. His shoes are torn and look miserable. Everyone laughs at him. Please, can we buy him these shoes? You can buy mine later.”
Meg thought for a moment and decided it was best to buy her daughter shoes first.
“You’re going to get sick if you keep wearing your wet, torn shoes. I’m sorry, honey, but you need a new pair.”
Haley sighed deeply and agreed. She wasn’t thrilled with the new pair of sneakers her mother had bought her.
As Meg and Haley left, Bob, the shoe store owner who knew Meg well, walked to the entrance and sighed. He had heard everything and knew what it was like to live in poverty.
Bob’s late father was a shoemaker, and that inspired him to start a shoe store to sell shoes for people from all walks of life.
He wanted to help Haley to come to Buddy’s rescue, but he didn’t know how to proceed. In addition, the pair of shoes Haley wanted to give Buddy was a limited edition collection. They were quite expensive, and he couldn’t just give them away for free.
Suddenly he remembered something and went down to the basement of the store, where some old limited edition shoes were stored.
“Hmmm!” smiled Bob. He pulled down an entire shelf of unsold shoes and picked out the best ones that could be used. Then he contacted Haley’s mother.
“And what time can I stop by? I want to surprise your daughter. Make sure she’s not up until seven tomorrow morning, okay?!”
“Sure…sure…thanks, Mr. White. I’m glad you were able to help!”
Haley was unable to sleep peacefully all night. She was plagued by the thought of Buddy and his tattered shoes. She had even checked her piggy bank, but the few coins rattling in it discouraged her. She decided to invite her classmates to pool some money to buy new shoes for Buddy.
“Honey, wake up! It’s time to get ready for school. Haley, wake up!” said Meg, shaking her daughter.
“Good morning, Mom!”
“Good morning, sweetheart. Can you please bring me the newspaper by the door?”
Meg couldn’t wait to see her daughter’s reaction once she opened the door.
Haley rubbed her sleepy eyes and yawned as she made her way to the main door. She opened it and stood stunned.
“Mom! Come on, Mom… There are so many boxes at the door. Mom, please come quickly!”
Meg came out smiling and asked Haley to open the boxes herself.
“NEW SHOES?!” She shouted with joy.
On one of the shoe boxes was written, “Hopefully Buddy likes them!”
Meg then told Haley that the shoe store owner had overheard their conversation and wanted to help her.
“He’s my old friend and he has two granddaughters like you. He told me he doesn’t like to see you sad. So, honey, are you happy? There are new sneakers for Buddy and his parents!”
Haley checked out the shoes for Buddy and discovered that they were the ones he wanted, inspired by his favorite TV show, but it was an older version.
As she collected the boxes, she found another shoebox with her name on it.
“New ballet shoes!” the joyful girl shouted.
It turned out that Meg had already been to Bob’s shoe store for new ballet shoes. But she hadn’t been able to buy them, because they were too expensive. He took the opportunity to reward Haley for her kindness and gave her a new pair of ballet shoes.
Meg and Haley happily loaded the shoe boxes into the trunk of their car and drove to Buddy’s house to give him the shoes.
“Thank you so much, Mrs. Figgs. We will never forget your help!” Buddy’s parents were overwhelmed.
As Buddy happily wore his new shoes and jumped for joy, his parents set aside some of the shoes. They decided to donate a few pairs to charity and pass along this message: kindness breeds love and elevates humanity.