When Tanisha Burton of Harrisburg came to pay off her layaway at Wal-Mart in Silver Springs Commons Monday she found someone called “Santa B” had beaten her to it.
She was one of about 100 customers who had their layaway balances paid off by a $50,000 check dropped off by an anonymous donor Monday morning.
“It was definitely a surprise, and a blessing,” said Burton, who had $200 left to pay on her layaway for toys for her daughter.
Wal-Mart calls them “layaway angels,” said Steve Myers, store manager. Donations like this of $2,000-$3,000 have occurred in the past at the store, but never this high, he said.
Steve Myers, manager of Wal-Mart at Silver Springs Commons, talks about the “layaway angel” who paid off $50,000 in outstanding customer layaways at the store Dec. 15, 2014.
Santa B is a man from the local area, who didn’t want his named divulged. “He said he wanted to help take care of folks – to bring everyone a special Christmas,” Myers said.
“I’m overwhelmed, and I guess relieved,” said Robert Carolus of Mifflin County, who came to pick up his layaway, which was mostly toys for his grandchildren. “I’m just disappointed I couldn’t say thank you,” he added.
Eric Staub of Mechanicsburg said he saw a friend’s post on Facebook that her layaway had been paid off at the store.
“I said jokingly on the way here that maybe ours would be too,” he said. “I wonder what bills can we put that toward,” Staub said of the $109 it saved his family.
“It was a shock to a lot of customers,” said Tiawanna Brook, assistant store manager. “It definitely was a cheerful moment.”
Robert Carolus of Mifflin County said he wishes he could thank Santa B.
Myers said the 100 layaways that were left totaled about $50,000. Santa B brought a cashier’s check for $50,000, and any excess was to be given to charity, Myers said.
Kesha Kratzer, layaway manager, spent the day calling customers who still had layaways to pick up.
Monday was the last day to pay off layaways at the store. Kesha Kratzer, layaway manager, spent the day calling customers who still had layaways left to tell them about the “layaway angel.”
“It’s not a record, but it’s certainly high,” said Wal-Mart spokesman John Forrest Ales.
Also today there were two similar donations of $51,000 and $59,000 in Florida, Ales said.
“It’s amazing to see the random acts of kindness that happen at the holidays,” he said. “It’s incredible customers are coming in and wanting to help their neighbors by covering their layaway balances for the season.”