It’s tough being a kid sometimes and it’s even tougher when you’re the target of bullies who have the power to make a child so incredibly miserable to the point where he or she doesn’t want to go to school. One little boy, in little Avah Parkins class, started getting bullied by a group of kids who chose to make fun of him over his ratty shoes.
The nine-year-old girl, Avah, an elementary student from McPherson, Kan., noticed the kids ridiculing her classmate because his shoes were “falling apart.”
“His shoes were all ripped open on the toe, and you could see his socks. Because his parents had to pay bills and stuff and said they couldn’t get him new shoes.”
What she saw really bothered her, so when Avah got home from school on a Friday, she approached her mom and confessed what had happened to the little boy. Mom Shannon Parkins realized that the incident had truly upset Avah, so she offered the chance for Avah to do something about it.
Shannon was inspired by her daughter’s compassion for a downtrodden classmate and decided to help her learn a valuable life lesson.
“I decided to be a good friend and get him some new shoes.”
The second Avah saw her mom after school on Monday, she said, “Size 4.” Shannon was confused and asked what her daughter was talking about. Avah simply replied:
“His shoe size.”
Shannon resolved to help Avah experience firsthand the joy of helping another person. So together, Avah and Shannon went shopping for new shoes for this little boy so he wouldn’t be ridiculed anymore.
Shannon posted a photo of the shoes they bought along with a tale about their adventure.
“Even though I’m constantly fighting an uphill battle raising my kids to be honest, loyal, caring people. It’s times like this I know I’m doing something right!!”
Shannon knew firsthand that her daughter was a good kid, but this act of kindness and her exuberance at helping another proved it.
“It just warmed my heart. I don’t know. I am just so emotional. I cry all the time. She is such a good kid. It didn’t really surprise me. The world is so full of hate, we need more souls like Avahs!”
When Avah took the shoes to school the next day, she handwrote a note for her classmate that stated, “You love shoes.” Michelle Chase commented on Shannon’s Facebook post, commending Avah for her kindhearted and compassionate actions.
“Beautiful. I do hope teachers will take the time to remind their class that not all children are fortunate enough to have new shoes or ‘nice’ clothes. No child should be picked on for something out of their control. Avah is a wonderful young lady who obviously has kindness & selflessness beyond her years.”
Believe it or not, one in five children in the U.S. live in poverty. According to Shoes That Fit, the most visible sign of poverty happens to be shoes.
When organizations like Shoes That Fit donate new shoes to a child in need, they notice a 70 percent increase in physical activity at that school and a 40 percent increase in attendance, too, the organization noted.
According to Buckner, an organization that collects and distributes shoes to needy children, shoes actually are the most difficult items for materially poor families to afford or obtain.
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