The sweet reason a Walmart manager found this worker shoeless, wearing pink socks.

There's good customer service, and then there's what Phil did last week for a person in need.

Customer Myrna Kines was shopping at a Walmart in Lithia Springs, Georgia, when she spotted Phil (last name omitted by request) giving his pink sneakers to a homeless man.

There was no catch. There was no ulterior motive. It was a simple, selfless act of generosity.


Kines was so in awe that she asked to snap a photo of Phil because he "needed to be commended." That pic has since gone viral after getting shared by the Facebook page Love What Matters.

"I just witnessed this young man take the shoes off of his feet and give them to a man that needed them at Walmart on...

Posted by Love What Matters on Sunday, July 31, 2016

“That touched my heart very strongly,” Kines told 11 Alive News in Atlanta, noting that Phil's matching pink sneakers and socks were the same color for a very significant reason: Phil's grandma died of breast cancer, he'd told Kines, so he wears pink in honor of her memory.

As Kines promised in her Facebook post, she called the store to tell them what an "awesome employee" they have on their hands.

When store manager Mike Kastensmidt got the message, he went to find Phil to thank him. He found his employee standing there in his socks.

"I got the warm and fuzzy tingles," Kastensmidt told Upworthy.

When asked about the incident, Phil explained to Kastensmidt that he too knows what it's like to hit rock bottom — Phil himself had been homeless as a teenager. Inspired by his employee's selflessness, Kastensmidt told Phil he could pick out any pair he'd like from the shoe department, and Kastensmidt would foot the bill.

Phil returned with a pair of shoes — not embellished sneakers or trendy new boots, but basic $13 slippers.

Photo via iStock.

As for Kines, she says it's worth noting whenever you come across generous people like Phil.

After all, the Phils of the world don't always get the positive attention and praise they deserve. They're generous and selfless because it's the right thing to do, not because they want attention.

We live in a world full of negativity," Kines told 11 Alive. “So when you see a person do what this guy did, it deserves recognition."

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.