After massive flooding affected much of Nebraska earlier this year, a Kansas teacher — and bartender — took it upon herself to help some of the flood victims.
So 25-year-old Addy Tritt went to a closing Payless ShoeSource and negotiated to buy the last 204 pairs of shoes in store, the Hays Post first reported.
The store in Hays, Kansas, was selling each of the remaining pairs for $1, the Post reported, but Tritt got them down to $100 for all 204 pairs of shoes. That means she bought out the closing shoe store for about 49 cents a pair.
“I really feel I have been directed and guided to help people,” she said, according to the Post. “I think everything is a part of God’s plan. If you can do something for someone else, you need to find a way even if it is a pair of shoes.”
The recent Fort Hays State University graduate’s feel-good story reached national audiences, and that caught Ellen DeGeneres’s attention.
Ellen recently welcomed Tritt onto “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” That segment premiered with the Monday episode, but you can also watch it online at ellentube.com.
“You know what ... I’ve always wanted to meet someone from Hays, Kansas, and I just found out someone in the audience lives there,” Ellen said when starting the segment. “What are the odds of that? And I wanted to meet someone named Addy Tritt, so is there an Addy Tritt here?”
Tritt soon came running down the stairs and onto the stage, embracing Ellen in a hug.
“The reason I called you down here is ’cause you did something really amazing,” Ellen said.
Tritt explained to Ellen and her audience why she decided to buy and donate more than 200 pairs of shoes.
“I think that a lot of people need to care more about one another,” she said. “And you care about people, and I just want to care about people too. So anything I can do.”
Both Ellen and Tritt hope that “ripple effect” of good deeds will continue. That’s why Tritt doesn’t want people to buy her presents for her upcoming birthday.
Rather, she asks that people donate to an animal shelter.
As an early birthday present, Ellen surprised Tritt with a chance to win $10,000 in a game of “Holey Roller,” courtesy of Cheerios.
That’s the game where contestants have one chance to roll a ball into a mouse-hole type opening.
Ellen has once called it the “hardest game in daytime television,” according to the Bridgewater Independent.
After Ellen’s advice to aim and go slowly, Tritt rolled the blue ball down the stage and toward the winning hole. It bounced off the wall — and away from her chance at $10,000.
“Aw, no,” Ellen said, before making her way toward to the ball.
She picked up that ball and helped it into the hole before the audience went wild. Then she handed Tritt $10,000 cash.