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The young father stood in line at the layby counter, wearing dirty clothes and worn-out boots. With him were three small children.
He asked to pay something on his bill because he knew he wouldn’t be able to afford it all before Christmas.
Then a mysterious woman stepped up to the counter.
“She told him, ‘No, I’m paying for it,'” recalled Edna Deppe, assistant manager at the store in Indianapolis.
“He just stood there and looked at her and then looked at me and asked if it was a joke. I told him it wasn’t, and that she was going to pay for him. And he just busted out in tears.”
At Kmart stores across the US, Santa seems to be getting some help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers’ layby accounts, buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn’t afford, especially toys and children’s clothes set aside by impoverished parents.
Kmart may be the focus of layby generosity, because it is one of the few large discount stores that has offered layby year-round for about four decades.
These secret santas are also creating a knock on effect.
Lori Stearnes of Omaha also benefited from the generosity of a stranger who paid all but US$58 of her US$250 layby bill for toys for her four youngest grandchildren.
Stearnes said she and her husband live paycheque to paycheque, but she plans to use the money she was saving for the toys to help pay for someone else’s layby.
Isn’t it great to be reminded of what the Christmas spirit really means.
The full news article can be found here.
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