By CRISTINA JANNEY
A former Salina woman recently recently bought out all the remaining shoes at the Hays Payless store — more than 200 pair — and donated them to flood victims in Nebraska.
The shoes were part of a flood relief shipment taken to farmers in Nebraska by FHSU’s agriculture sorority Sigma Alpha this weekend. The sorority accepted ag-related donations last week at Orscheln’s and Tractor Supply Co.
Addy Tritt, 25, a recent FHSU human resources graduate, said she felt the need to pay it forward with the shoe donation.
“I have been so blessed,” she said. “There have been so many great people in my life who have inspired me. I see so many horrible things in the news. So many people have helped me when I was down, I want to help if I can.”
Payless is going out of business, closing its stores and liquidating its assets. When the price on shoes at Hays’ Big Creek Crossing store were lowered to $1 per pair, Tritt approached Payless about buying all the shoes that were left.
She negotiated with Payless to buy its remaining 204 pair of shoes for $100. They included 162 pair of baby shoes, two pair of men’s shoes and the rest were women’s shoes. The cost of the shoes came out of Tritt’s own pocket.
The retail price of the shoes would have been more than $6,000.
Tritt is not a stranger to charity. She has also donated 66 bags of school supplies to Hays students, organized a baby clothes drive and has done two supply drives for the animal shelter.
Tritt said helping others is a part of her religious beliefs.
“I really feel I have been directed and guided to help people,” she said. “I think everything is a part of God’s plan. If you can do something for someone else, you need to find a way even if it is a pair of shoes.”
Although Tritt said she was saddened to see the destruction the flooding has left in Nebraska, she feels joy in helping others.
“I just hope this inspires other people to volunteer and donate if you have been blessed,” she said.