Last Monday, a woman in her 30s walked into a Kmart in Michigan and asked to pay off someone’s layaway balance. Although the clerk wasn’t sure what was going on, he let her look at the store’s layaway list. The woman scanned the accounts, looking for ones in which toys had been purchased. She chose three accounts and paid $500 toward them, leaving a balance of $10 on each. The woman asked to remain anonymous, but she did leave a note. It read, “Happy Holidays from a friend.”
One of the people helped out by the secret Santa, a mom who had put $200 worth of toys on layaway for her son, said that the anonymous woman had “restored her faith in people.”
The Christmas spirit is catching on. Since the story of the secret Santa first aired on WOOD TV in Michigan, other anonymous helpers have been paying off the layaway accounts of strangers at other stores in Michigan and California.
The Michigan store where the first good Samaritan offered her help has received similar donations of $150 to $300 every day since then, according to The Detroit News.
One man came in and gave $2,000 to help pay off 13 layaway bills. Another paid off $1,000. In every case, those who are doing the giving are opting to remain anonymous.