BANGOR, Maine — Colburn Shoe Store in Belfast has come up with a unique idea to help folks in the community one pair of shoes at a time.
The owner of the store, Colby Horne, just had his biggest shoe sale but had some leftover shoes he wanted people to benefit from.
"I thought 'use what I have for good and give people the opportunity to get in those shoes now'," Horne said.
Horne introduced a "Pay What You Can rack," where you can literally pay what you can afford for a pair of shoes. You can leave what you can afford inside an anonymous donation box.
"If the shoe is on the rack, is your size, leave whatever you can, and if you can't leave anything that's fine," said Horne.
No questions asked, if the pair fits you well, you can take it home! It features shoes for men, women and kids.
The store in Belfast is known as America's Oldest shoe store, it has been in the business since 1832.
"My great uncle owned it, my grandfather, my father and now I own it!" said Horne.
Horne says the idea is also to set the example for others to give a helping hand whenever they can.
"We all have the ability to help, in so many ways, everyone can help, I just have a platform of shoes, but whoever takes these shoes, you know they can write letters, they can call, they can help the elderly, they can shovel...it's just a way of having the whole community pay it forward for each other," said Horne.
"They look almost like a dress shoe, I'm very happy with these," Jamie Touzier, a shopper that works at Waldo County Hospital said. He found his new pair of work shoes and was very thankful.
Helping the community one shoe at a time.
The store wants to keep this initiative alive, by re-stocking the rack hopefully all year round to help those that most need a new pair.
On your way out they ask you simply let the store managers know you are taking a pair.
"There is not enough like that going around nowadays," Touzier said.
The idea has only been going on for 24 hours now and it has been a success!
"The goal is to have this as a year-round resource for folks of need, need is great in this community, and there is always people that need shoes, there are always kids that need shoes," said Horne.
The store is located at 79 Main Street in Belfast.