Anonymous layaway angels pay-it-forward at Walmart stores in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. According to ABC News, over $500,000 in Christmas layaways have been paid as of Dec. 18, 2015. A store employee told The Washington Post, Christmas encourages generosity in people and urges them to give back to their community through incredible acts of kindness. He further stated that angelic deeds do happen and Walmart is proud to be part of these random acts of generosity.
NBC reports that Karen Hernandez, a mother of nine children, received a much-needed angel miracle this year. After spending ten arduous months in the hospital, fighting for her life, she wondered how she would afford the items she had placed on hold at Walmart. The $800 layaway balance seemed insurmountable, but a call from a Walmart employee delivered a miracle shortly after Hernandez arrived home from the hospital. An anonymous man, who called himself Santa B, paid for all holiday layaways at the store. Hernandez jumped for joy and cried with relief. This anonymous angel’s generosity totaled $79,000.
Walmart manager Steven Myers told NBC that one of the anonymous layaway angels said that he just wanted to give back to the neighbors and community. Because of them, his business is thriving. He wanted to show his gratitude and pay-it-forward. According to Myers, hope is what the community needs right now. The anonymous angel admitted that he was in a solid financial position to provide that hope and feels good about the people he has helped. Myers also said that these random acts of kindness demonstrated at his store and others throughout the area have also had a positive impact on the Walmart employees.
The Washington Post said that these generous angels are not something new. Last year, a woman paid the layaway balance at a Toys R Us in Massachusetts that totaled approximately $20,000. Her unselfish act of kindness benefitted more than 150 families.
Walmart stores in Chiefland and Lake City, Florida also received blessings from layaway angels. According to ABC News, a combination of payoffs totaled $200,000. One customer said that she and her husband had returned from the hospital with their new baby girl. When they found out that the bedroom set they had placed on layaway was paid for, it was as if a miracle happened at just the right time. Her husband had been laid off and they did not know how they were going to afford the purchase.
One man decided to celebrate his birthday by paying off on-hold balances in the Steelyard Commons and Lorain, Ohio stores, reports The Washington Post. The generous donation totaled more than $106,000. His name was kept anonymous because that is what he wanted. The layaway angel said that paying the balances was better than getting a birthday cake.
A grateful customer, who was a recipient of this angelic generosity, told USA Today that she will never forget the kindness, nor the miracle that enabled her to help her aging mother at a time when she needed it the most. Humanity can be surprising. In the worst of times, it shows itself in the most unusual ways. Before this Christmas, she had not believed in miracles. She does now.
When humanity demonstrates compassion by any measure, it lifts the spirits of those who are fortunate enough to witness it. Thanks to the Walmart layaway angels, hundreds of families have benefited from this pay-it-forward act of kindness. For some, this may be a difficult time of year, claims Myers, but for others, it was a blessing. How wonderful it is to witness such generosity and joy.
By Rowena Portch
Edited by Cathy Milne
ABC News: Secret Santas Pay Off Walmart Layaway Orders in 3 Different States
Washington Post: Layaway Angel Pays Off More Than $100,000 in Walmart Bills
NBC News: Secret Santa pays $79K at 2nd Walmart layaway
USA Today: Layaway Angel Pays Off More Than $106K at Walmart Stores
Featured Image Courtesy of Jason Pratt’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License