A Walmart employee’s incredible act of kindness went viral.
Phil Bravin Powell, a worker at a Walmart in Douglas County, Georgia, was working when he noticed a homeless person without shoes. Powell gave the man his own shoes — a moment that shopper Myrna Kines witnessed.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Kines told WSBTV. “I walked up to the man he just gave his shoes away to and asked, ‘Did he just give you his shoes?’”
Mines went back inside the store and took a photo of Powell, then posted it to her Facebook page. The post quickly began going viral.
“I just witnessed this young man take the shoes off of his feet and give them to a man that needed them at Walmart on Thornton Rd in Lithia Springs. His name is Phil. I will be contacting Walmart Corporate to tell them the have an awesome employee! Please share!!” the post read.
After Kines shared the story on her page, Powell’s manager Mike Kastensmidt shared it and revealed what happened moments after the employee gave his shoes away.
Kastensmidt took Powell to the shoe department and offered to buy him any pair he wanted.
“He chose a $13.00 pair of slippers,” he said. “That’s all he ‘needed.’”
Brenda Patterson, Powell’s mother, subsequently contacted Kines on Facebook and told the woman that her son had a “heart of gold.” The shoes he gave away were specially made to honor his grandmother, who had breast cancer.
“That’s why his shoes were pink and white Converses,” Patterson said. “The same reason why he’s wearing pink socks.”
Patterson told Fox 5 that her son knew what it was like to struggle and go without something as necessary as a pair of shoes. The family moved to Georgia to escape a life of abuse.
“I knew I didn’t want them to grow up think it was okay for a man to beat them. And I didn’t want Phil to grow up and my other son to grow up thinking ‘I have to beat a woman to say I love them’ so I was trying to break the cycle,” she said.
From around the time Powell was in the third grade, he’d been living in shelters, motels and cars. It was only recently that he no longer was homeless.
“I tried to keep no matter what we went through, I kept them in school, and I kept them in church. But there were a lot of night I just didn’t’ know what to do, how to do it, when to do it,” Patterson said.
The mother added that she was immensely proud of her son for his selfless act.
“I’m proud of my son, very proud of my son,” she said.