Christmas has been a time to spread the love and joy to our family, friends, and neighbors. It is a time to connect with people around us and celebrate share with them the happiness that the festive season brings. Christmas presents come in different forms, and one anonymous donor decided to spread the love to over 200 Walmart store customers in northeast Ohio. The customers had balances to settle on various layaway items. In a layaway item, the customer leaves a deposit on a product and then clears off the balance on a later date.
Tara Neal was one of many who had placed an item on layaway—Neal is a mother of four, and her young daughter desperately wanted a “Frozen”-themed bed she couldn’t afford. She had come to Walmart, only able to put $10 on the $80 purchase, when she got the news.
Someone had already purchased the bed.
“Whoever did it, God bless them,” she said. “Such a blessing to know there’s still people out there who care.”
It was just in time for Christmas. “He’s like a real Santa to me,” Neal said.
The donor was celebrating his birthday in mid-December 2015, and he did it in a way that melted the hearts of thousands of people. He walked into two Walmart stores in Ohio and paid the on-hold balances for most customers in the stores. The donor who sought to stay anonymous thought that a small act of kindness like settling the layaways for most families in Ohio would be the best Christmas present than just getting a birthday cake. The result was indeed one of the best Christmas gestures that received recognition from many people in and out of state.
The anonymous donor paid off layaways worth more than $106,000 in two stores. The larger amount, which was $70,000, went to Steelyard Commons store located in Cleveland while the Lorain store received $36000 for their on-hold balances. The items ranged from socks, 70-inch television, and bundles of toys. His kind act earned the donor some names like “Secret Santa” and “Layaway Angel” from the people who were greatly awed by his generosity.
Cathie Cromwell, another beneficiary received her son’s gift from the store after the anonymous donor settled the remaining balances.
“I just cried—it’s amazing that someone would have so much compassion,” she said. “To help us, to help people who maybe wouldn’t have had Christmas.
The anonymous donor received recognition and applause from thousands of people online and the hundreds of customers who received various toys for their kids and items sooner than they expected. Beverly Vargo, a Walmart store manager also indicated that the small acts of kindness from the secret Santa left a mark on most customers since most of them left the store with a positive effect on their lives.
Generous situations of anonymous donors have been common in different Walmart stores in the United States. One anonymous person paid off $200,000 in two Walmart stores in Florida while another one who identified himself as Santa B spent $180,000 on layaway items on Walmart stores in Pennsylvania. In their statement, Walmart says that they are happy to be part of the random acts of kindness in society. The store manager also said Christmas is a time when people do their best and extend a hand to their neighbors and community. He added that settling layaway items without making it public is a perfect display of love and care to others.
It is the touching stories like this one of the secret Santa that prove that good people still exist in the world. Christmas is around the corner, and you may be wondering the action to take to spread the love and joy over the festive season. Just show a little kindness to your neighbor or that homeless person near your place. You do not have to pay off a hundred thousand dollars for layaway items at Walmart. You can give a dollar to someone who needs it more. Remember that a simple random act of kindness creates an endless ripple.