After seeing a young boy’s face drop upon learning that a store didn’t offer basketball sneakers within his budget, a kind young woman decided to buy him any pair he liked.
Tinyia Frank went shopping at the mall on the weekend and wanted to get a pair of shoes to go with the pants she’d just purchased. She headed into Champs in Warren, Ohio, and was talking with a salesperson about what she was looking for.
While he was helping her, a polite young boy walked away from his father and asked if it was alright to ask the salesman a question.
“He asked the man if they had any basketball shoes that are under $75, because that’s all that he had,” Tinyia recalled. “He kind of put his head down and looked disappointed to say it, not like he was saying it disrespectfully or anything, just kind of sad because that’s all he had.”
The employee told him that they didn’t have any basketball sneakers in that price range, and Tinyia noticed the boy’s face drop. Before he could walk away, she started a friendly conversation with him and asked him what he needed the shoes for.
She learned that the boy’s name is Jordan and that he’s a fifth grader who plays on a traveling basketball team. Tinyia, 19, is a college student and works part-time, and she knows how difficult it is for the youth of her hometown of Warren.
Tinyia told Jordan to go and pick out any pair of basketball shoes that he wanted and that she would buy them for him. All she asked for in return was that he would send her a photo of himself wearing them at his first game.
“We’ve got one of the highest rates of overdoses in the country in our city, and we have nothing for the youth,” Tinyia later shared. “They took away our centers that we had for young people, our dancing teams; nothing gets funded. So when he told me that he was on the traveling team and couldn’t afford the shoes that he wanted, I couldn’t do nothing but feel bad because the way that I was raised: If you got it, you give it to people.”
Jordan spent 30 minutes finding the perfect pair of sneakers, and Tinyia insisted that he get the best ones that he would be happy with. He chose a red pair of LeBrons, and Tinyia didn’t mind that they cost $180.
“If I was going to get him some shoes, I wanted him to get what he liked,” she said. “Money is just money. Not to say it’s not important. I work a lot for my money. [But] I’d rather go without getting my 15th pair of shoes and give it to a little boy who clearly only had one.”
After learning about what was taking place, Jordan’s father was both surprised and his eyes filled with tears. He thanked Tinyia and asked to take a picture of her with Jordan and his new shoes.
Tinyia shared the photo online with the following note:
“So I’m at the mall and a little boy comes into CHAMPS asking about basketball shoes and if they have any under $75 the worker said no and the little boy’s face DROPS,” the post reads.
“So I ask the boy his name and what he needs shoes for, turns out he’s on a basketball team and is dying for new shoes so I told him if he sends me a picture of him at his game I’ll buy him whatever he wants and his dad damn near breaks down.
YOU ARE VERY WELCOME JORDAN ENJOY YOUR NEW LEBRONS AND GOOD LUCK!”
Thanks to Tinyia’s kindness, a young fifth grader not only left the store with the shoes that he wanted, but also with an example of compassion that he will likely carry in his heart for a lifetime.
You are Loved.
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