Nearly 200 shoppers at a Walmart in Everett, Pennsylvania, are in total shock after a random stranger anonymously called the store and paid off all of their layaway items — a collective bill totaling $46,265.59.
The incredibly kind gesture, which came just weeks before Christmas, left store manager Ryan Kennedy in “complete disbelief,” wondering what led this person to choose the small-town store for his act of kindness, according to CNN.
It all started with an anonymous call during which the unnamed man — who referred to himself as “Santa B” — told Kennedy that another person would come by with the check. After receiving the money last Wednesday, staff at Walmart started making calls to the 194 people who had Christmas gifts and other items on layaway.
“It was complete disbelief. It was definitely a great gesture,” Kennedy told CNN. “I was completely shocked.”
And Kennedy wasn’t alone in his surprise. People were in tears after receiving the phones call letting them know their layaway items, which they were slowly paying off over time, were now covered in full by this generous stranger.
“I’m not the only one — some people really needed that this Christmas,” shopper Pamela Foor told WJAC-TV. “And I’m just grateful and thankful that they can do that and in their heart.”
Walmart, too, has responded to the kind act, saying the company is “honored” to be part of these acts of goodness.
“When customers quietly pay off others’ layaway items, we’re reminded how good people can be,” the company said in a statement. “The joy that comes from these transactions extends well beyond dollars and cents.”
This, of course, isn’t the first time we’ve heard about layaway angels swooping in right before Christmas to help people pay off gifts on layaway. As USA Today reported, an anonymous donor paid off more than $106,000 in layaway items at two Ohio Walmart stores back in 2015.
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