( 4UMF NEWS ) New Yorker Gives Barefoot Homeless Woman Her Shoes:
This subway angel has a heart and sole. Kay Brown gave a barefoot homeless woman riding the 3 train the shoes off of her own feet on Monday night.
The 26-year-old Harlem resident was heading home from Times Square, where she works as an assistant in an investment firm, when she stepped up to help a strapped straphanger.
“Usually on the subway I’m like, ‘No one look at me, no one talk to me,’ I’m just on my phone like everyone else,” she admits.
But once the bereft beggar entered Brown’s car, the subway Samaritan’s heart went out to the pitiful panhandler with bare feet.
“Her toes were crossed over each other and freezing, and I couldn’t imagine not having something on my feet,” says Brown.
So she quietly asked for the woman’s shoe size, trying not to make a scene on the crowded car. When she learned they both were a seven, she handed over her favorite brown ankle boots without hesitation.
“She started crying as she was putting them on, and I was like, ‘Hold it together, Kay, hold it together,’” says Brown. “And then she was like, ‘Thank you so much,’ and she hugged me and walked away.”
And that’s when Brown realized she had put on mismatched socks that morning.
“This was a disaster,” she jokes. “Not only was I standing on the subway without shoes, but my socks didn’t match. That was my biggest regret of the day.”
But her act of kindness was soon repaid by another: A gentleman gave Brown a thick pair of Nike gym socks to wear over her thin ones. The additional layer helped Brown walk the six blocks home from the station.
She took a few pictures of herself shoeless on the 3 train to send to her parents, however, and wrestled with whether or not to put them on Facebook.
“I was scared to post about it, because I didn’t want people to think, ‘Oh wow, she needs a pat on the back for doing this good deed,’” says Brown, who also volunteers with New York Cares.
But she decided to give her friends and family a kick of holiday spirit.
“There are so many bad things happening right now, with ISIS and the Paris bombings,” she says. “I wanted to post something that made me feel really good, to let other people feel good and maybe pay it forward.”
Her Monday night Facebook post went viral, getting more than 1,800 likes and 300 shares.
“It’s bananas,” she says. “My friends are coming out of the woodwork, texting and Facebook messaging me that they’ve been inspired to volunteer, and that makes me so glad.”
And she’s already treated herself to a new pair of booties, which should arrive in the mail over the next few days.
“Yeah, I loved those boots, but it’s not like they weren’t replaceable,” she says. “What’s a pair of shoes, or a few hours out of your day, to go help other people?”
Brown’s act of kindness is reminiscent of NYPD office Larry DePrimo, who became the poster boy of giving back in 2013 after a tourist snapped a picture of him giving a new pair of boots to a homeless, shoeless man in Times Square.