Despite wearing worn-out shoes to school, eight-year-old Haley begs her mom to buy new sneakers for her poor classmate who wears tattered ones. The next day, someone unexpectedly pays tribute to her kindness.
“What’s that squeaky noise?” Meg asked her eight-year-old daughter, Haley. She looked down at the girl’s shoes and noticed her sneakers’ soles had ripped open.
Meg and Haley were on their way home from school, and it had just stopped raining. Water on the road had seeped into Haley’s damaged shoes, making a squishy noise.
Meg immediately took her daughter to a shoe store to buy her a new pair of sneakers. She had some money for groceries but thought getting Haley a new pair of shoes was more important…
“That one, yes, those pink shoes on the rack below the blue shoes,” Meg instructed the shop assistant.
“How about these?” Meg heard Haley say. She turned around and saw Haley checking shoes in the section exclusively for boys.
Meg frowned and approached her daughter.
“Mama, I want these limited-edition sneakers. Buddy loves this TV show and always tells me how he wishes to wear such shoes.”
Meg was taken aback. Not only did she not have money to afford two pairs of shoes, but she wondered why Haley was too interested in getting her classmate Buddy a new pair.
A real friend does not laugh at your misery but helps you out of it.
“Why would you want to buy your classmate new shoes?”
Haley’s smile shrunk into despair. “Buddy is from a very poor family, mama. Poorer than us. His shoes are torn and look miserable. Everybody laughs at him. Please, can we buy these shoes for him? You can buy mine later.”
Meg thought for a while and decided it would be best if she bought her daughter shoes for now.
“You will fall sick if you keep wearing your wet, torn shoes. I’m sorry, honey, but you need a new pair.”
Haley sighed heavily and agreed. She was not excited to see the new pair of sneakers her mom had bought for her.
As Meg and Haley left, Bob, the shoe store owner who knew Meg well, walked to the entrance and sighed. He had overheard everything and knew what it was like to live in poverty.
Bob’s late father was a cobbler, and it inspired him to establish a shoe store that sold footwear for people from all walks of life.
He wanted to help Haley fulfill her mission of helping Buddy but didn’t know how. Moreover, the pair of shoes Haley wanted to get for Buddy was a limited-edition collection. They were pretty expensive, and he could not just give them away for free.
Suddenly, he remembered something and climbed downstairs to the store’s basement, where old limited-edition shoes were stocked.
“Hmmm!” Bob grinned. He brought down an entire shelf of unsold shoes and picked the best ones that could be used. Then he contacted Haley’s mother.
“And what time can I pop in? I want to surprise the girl. Make sure she is not up and out before seven tomorrow morning, alright?!”
“Sure…Sure…thanks, Mr. White. I’m glad you could help!”
Haley hadn’t slept the entire night peacefully. She was hounded by the thought of Buddy and his raggedy shoes. She had even checked her piggy bank, but the few coins rattling in it disheartened her even more. She decided she would invite her classmates to pool money to buy new shoes for Buddy.
“Darling, wake up! It’s time to get ready for school. Haley, wake up!” Meg jolted her daughter.
“Good morning, mama!”
“Good morning, darling. Can you please bring me the paper from the gate?” Meg told Haley. She could not wait to see her daughter’s reaction once she opened the door.
Haley rubbed her sleepy eyes and yawned as she walked to the main door. She opened it and stood stunned.
“Mama! Come here, mommy…There are so many boxes at the door. Mommy, please come quickly!”
Meg came out smiling and asked Haley to open the boxes and see for herself.
“NEW SHOES?!” she cried in joy.
On one of the shoeboxes, it was written: “Hope Buddy loves them!”
Meg then told Haley that the shoe store owner had overheard their conversation and had wanted to help.
“He’s an old friend and has two little granddaughters just like you. He told me he couldn’t see you sad. So, honey, are you happy? There are new sneakers for Buddy and his parents!”
Haley inspected the shoes meant for Buddy and found they were the ones he wanted, inspired by his favorite TV series, but an older version.
As she scooped up the boxes, she found another shoebox with her name written on it. She opened the box to see what was inside. It made her cry the next minute.
“New ballet shoes!” the girl cried in joy.
It turned out that Meg had once visited Bob’s shoe store to shop for new ballet shoes. But she could not buy them because they were too expensive. He took the opportunity to reward Haley for her kindness and gifted her a new pair of ballet shoes.
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Meg and Haley happily loaded the shoeboxes into their car trunk and rode to Buddy’s house to deliver the shoes.
“Thank you so much, Mrs. Figgs. We will never forget your help!” Buddy’s parents were overwhelmed.
As Buddy wore his new shoes happily and jumped around in joy, his parents set aside some of the shoes to pass on the kindness. They decided to donate a few pairs to charity and spread the message that kindness begets love and uplifts humanity.
What can we learn from this story?
Love and kindness bless both the receiver and the giver. Despite not having good shoes for herself, Haley wanted to buy a new pair for her friend Buddy instead. Ultimately, her kindness fetched Buddy his new shoes and Haley an unexpected reward the next day.
A real friend does not laugh at your misery but helps you out of it. While everyone laughed at Buddy’s torn shoes, Haley wanted to buy him a new pair of sneakers. She was even willing to sacrifice her own pair of new shoes for him.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.
A young boy gives up his dream shoes to buy new boots for a needy classmate. His kindness is recognized when an unexpected reward comes his way shortly after. Click here to read the full story.
This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only.