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Walmart Employee, Once Homeless Himself, Gives His Shoes to Destitute Man Outside Store


Attention, shoppers — kindness in aisle five! 

Shopper Myrna Kines from Douglas County, Georgia, said she was leaving her local Walmart when she noticed an employee taking off his pink Converse shoes, and handing them to a homeless man outside.

Read: Man, 54, Graduates College After a Lifetime Battling Alcoholism, Homelessness and Jail Time

The employee, Phil Powell, then went back to work in his socks.

Kines, shocked at the exchange she saw, stopped Phil and asked if he could take his picture, to give him recognition for his generosity.

"I was just happy to give back," Powell, 18, told InsideEdition.com. "When I had no shoes on—I just had pink socks—I was happy just dancing around." 

Powell said he then told the shopper that he wanted to help the man out because he, too, was homeless until age 16.

He explained that for years, he was living back and forth between his home, temporary hotels, and the streets. Powell said he knows how difficult it is to be without a job or money, and now that he has enough of both, he wanted to pass on what he could spare.

"I have more shoes than I need," he said.

He also explained that the shoes he gave away were bleached pink in honor of his grandmother, who was battling breast cancer. He was also wearing the pink socks, as revealed in the picture.

"As a mother it feels so good," his mom, Brenda Patterson said. "Growing up, you wonder if they got the message." 

The shopper later posted the photo to Facebook, and followed up by calling the Walmart manager, Mike Kastensmidt.

Read: Bullies Steal a Boy's Only Pair of Shoes, Deputies Take Him to Shoe Store: 'Pick What You Like'

"He had a soft spot in his heart," Kastensmidt told InsideEdition.com. "It made my heart tingle."

Kastensmidt was so moved by the actions of his employee that he invited him to go to the shoe department and pick out any pair he wanted.

"I thought they would be a fancy pair," Kastensmidt said. "He came back with a $13 pair of slip-ons and he said that's all he needed."

Watch: Police Officer Photographed Kneeling to Clean Homeless Man's Feet: 'You Just Feel Compassion'