A nationwide game of Secret Santa is impacting K-Mart stores across the country this holiday season, as anonymous donors are picking up the layaway tabs for families they’ve never even met.
The movement has reached the K-Mart in Hamilton, New Jersey in which more than a dozen layaway accounts have been paid in full by Good Samaritans, according to the store’s manager.
“The range actually varies from $30 to over $1000,” said Ivan Collazo. “You have customers coming in paying multiple layaways for customers.”
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While Collazo claims the store still has a layaway balance of over $20,000, he’s still amazed by the massive showing of generosity.
“You have females, you have males, different types of ages and nationalities,” said Collazo. “The bottom line is that they’re just coming in. Its people helping people, knowing that there’s a need out there and for some reason K-Mart was chosen for this and we’re very excited to be a part of it.”
But that's not the only store in the area impacted by the Secret Santas. The movement also reached the K-Mart in Exton, Chester County, where Christina Harris purchased gifts on layaway.
Harris is a mother of four who recently found a new home after previously being homeless. She owed $60 on a $300 layaway. According to K-Mart's policy, if a deposit is not made on a layaway account within two weeks, the items are returned to the sales floor. Thanks to a "layaway angel," as the Good Samaritans have been affectionately coined, that won't happen. A stranger paid the rest of her bill, assuring that her son got his toy crane while her daughters got their barbie dolls.
"Most people are just like 'oh, it's just a layaway' but to me it's really something important," said Christina who also had a message to the anonymous donor.
"I just want to say thank you. Whoever it was, he or she, they made it a real Christmas."