‘Tis the season, to be generous!
A woman is being hailed as a layaway angel after she went into a Toys ‘R’ Us store in Bellingham, Mass., on Wednesday and paid off every open layaway account — giving about 150 customers with items on layaway an early Christmas present.
The generous donor paid $20,000 to wipe the entire layaway balance at that location, a spokeswoman for Toys ‘R’ Us confirmed to ABC News on Thursday.
“This incredible act of kindness is a true illustration of holiday giving at its best,” the company said in a statement.
The donor made the payment anonymously, but the Milford Daily News reported that she was a local resident who said she would sleep better at night knowing the accounts had been paid.
The newspaper reported that the store’s layaway customers were in tears when they heard the good news.
The holidays have inspired many others to do similar good deeds for total strangers.
Tom Gubitosi went to his local Walmart in Farmingdale, N.Y., on Wednesday, and gave $100 shopping sprees to about 200 children each. Gubitosi donated the money in honor of his late mother, who loved children, WABC TV reported.
Also on Wednesday, dozens of police officers in Cape Cod, Mass., treated 26 children to lunch and $200 gift cards for the annual “Shop with Cops” program.
Earlier this month, Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson bought $16,266.26 worth of toys for 11 children in the care of Child Protective Services, ESPN reported. At Toys “R” Us, he gave them each 80 seconds to place what they could in shopping carts. He’s been hosting shopping sprees for kids since 2007.
Last year, a Florida man used more than $21,000 of his own money to pay down layaway account balances at a Walmart in central Florida.
Greg Parady, who runs a financial planning company, told ABC News that his mother had struggled when he was growing up and he wanted to help others who may have had a similar experience.
“I was a layaway kid so it’s nice to be able to help,” he said.