Layaway Angels strike at area Kmart stores - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Layaway Angels strike at area Kmart stores

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Some call it a Christmas miracle, an unexpectedblessing or just downright good-hearted people spreading Christmas joy.

Santacame a little early for some families across the Chattahoochee Valley.

SecretSantas are once again popping up at local stores and paying off more than 50layaway balances.

"It warms my heart to know that peopleare still giving and caring here in these times we have so many things going onso many bad things, we hear about the bad things but never really hear aboutall the good things people are doing," said Cynthia Bob. 

It was a trend that started with the downturnin the economy: people paying off anonymous others' layaway balances to help themduring the difficult times. All they have to do is leave a penny on the balanceso that they can pick up their layaway purchases. 

"Some of them cry, some of them are likeoh my God are you serious and can't believe it and some will say was it my momor dad," said Joyce Adams.

Adams says the "layaway angels"remain a mystery. So far the KMART on Airport Thruway road has about $900 paidtowards store layaways for accounts with children's clothing and toys. Thatamount is down a lot from last year where the story saw a total of about$10,000 paid by layaway angels.

The Kmart store in Midtown has had 30accounts paid off totaling a little over $800. 

"We had a gentleman to come in thismorning and he paid off one for about $90," Bob said. 

Bob credits the harsh economy for the outpourof generosity this holiday season. Toy prices continue to skyrocket and folkslike Monica Tripp who had lawaway balances but didn't have it paid off by anangel understands the struggle of others.

"I think it's a wonderful thingespecially during this time and with the recession and with people out of workso I'm glad people are thinking to only of themselves but for other people aswell," Tripp said. 

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