Susan Cook and Patrick Riordan with all the items the couple recently donated when they purchased the entire remaining inventory at the Hamilton Payless Shoe Store to give to Womanspace. Contributed Photo.
They say to understand someone’s struggles, you need to walk a mile in their shoes.
Patrick Riordan and Susan Cook’s huge act of kindness has just helped hundreds of people walk just a bit more comfortable when they bought the entire remaining inventory of the Payless Shoe Store in Hamilton that was going out of business and donated all the shoes to WomanSpace.
The couple hopes that their good deed can spark others to do good.
What started out as a quick trip to find a pair of tan shoes for Susan and possibly something for the grandkids, turned into an on the spot, spontaneous act of kindness that has warmed the hearts of thousands and garnered national media attention.
We were in Hamilton looking for a pair of shoes for Sue and I suggested to stop into the Payless explained Patrick.
Payless Shoes which has since closed had filed for bankruptcy and was liquidating everything in inventory for $3.00.
Just as the couple entered the store, employees were further discounting everything to $2.00. Patrick and Susan struck up a conversation with the employees about the closing of the business and asked when the final closing date was. The employees responded as soon as everything is gone, we’re done!
That is when Patrick realized he was in the “right place at the right time”.
“I turned to Susan and said, what if we buy everything and donated it to charity in which she quickly replied, that would be awesome”.
The Payless employees called their district manager and he agreed to sell Patrick and Susan every last item in the store for a $1 apiece.
Merchandise ranged from $40 kids’ sneakers to $60 work boots, $5 water shoes, different tights, $30 slippers and more with a total value of nearly $5000 – all for $1 each
A Family Affair
With the store in agreement to sell them everything, the next question was who could they give the items too and how were they even gonna get them home.
I knew to call my daughter right away explained Susan, I knew she would know how to help.
Susan’s daughter Racheal suggested WomanSpace and then headed right over to Hamilton Marketplace to help with all the items.
“Thank God for my daughter, she knew right away who to call and we needed to load the rest of the items in her car because we couldn’t fit it all in our car.”
11 bags and $247 later has turned out to be a new beginning for many families thanks to the help of Patrick Riordan and Susan Cook.
In a Facebook post, Womanspace wrote the donation will help hundreds of families in its programs, adding: “We can offer them the basics that most people take for granted and we can do that because of this generous family and others like them that understand the importance of sharing.”
Everyday People, Paying it Forward!
“We’re not rich or anything like that, we struggle just like everyone else, but I knew at that moment we had an opportunity to help people, and maybe by doing this, we could show others that want to help that it can be done. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just a little human compassion and consideration for somebody else. Small things like a pair of shoes can make a big difference to people in need, especially kids. Maybe we could create a ripple effect. Human compassion and people caring about other people that’s what matters.”From our interview with Patrick Riordan and Susan Cook.
Womanspace, Inc. is a leading nonprofit agency in Mercer County, New Jersey, that provides a comprehensive array of services to individuals and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence and dedicated to improving the quality of life for adults and their families. Programs include crisis intervention, emergency shelter, counseling, court advocacy and housing services.