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

Layaway Angels strike at area Kmart stores

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

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

Santa came a little early for some families across the Chattahoochee Valley.

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

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

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

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

Adams says the "layaway angels" remain a mystery. So far the KMART on Airport Thruway road has about $900 paid towards store layaways for accounts with children's clothing and toys. That amount 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 30 accounts paid off totaling a little over $800. 

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

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

"I think it's a wonderful thing especially during this time and with the recession and with people out of work so I'm glad people are thinking to only of themselves but for other people as well," Tripp said. 

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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