TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Secret Santas pay for items on layaway at stores around Western Pennsylvania

Daily Photo Galleries

Allegheny Photo Galleries

Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 9:27 p.m.
 

Santa may have made early visits to a few stores in the area this year when anonymous donors plunked down hundreds of dollars to pay for the layaway items of strangers.

“It shows the region is full of people with good intentions and great hearts,” said Marcy Park, Wal-Mart district manager for the area. “It has happened every year, but it seems like I'm hearing more of it this year.”

Park said Secret Santas have donated money to pay for items on layaway at Wal-Mart stores in Robinson, Irwin, North Versailles, Mt. Pleasant and in Waterworks Mall on Freeport Road in Pittsburgh. She said customers come in, find a manager and say they want to be a Secret Santa for a layaway. They all choose to remain anonymous and usually the donations are about $200. Wal-Mart selects the recipients randomly.

Park said she witnessed a recipient's reaction when store employees told the person that a stranger had paid off the layaway balance.

“They were all ecstatic. The person said, ‘I want to thank someone. You have no idea what this does for our Christmas,' ” Park said.

Wal-Mart isn't the only store where anonymous donors chip in to help out. Stacey Wade, store manager at Kmart in West View, said four layaway angels came in on Tuesday to donate money. About 90 percent of the donors want their money to help children.

“It's been every day for the last three weeks,” Wade said. “They usually ask to pick a layaway with children's toys or clothes. One couple wanted to put down $500. We had a lot with high-dollar amounts this year.”

Nationally, Kmart says layaway angels have donated more than $1.5 million since 2011.

“When we call the (recipients) to tell them, generally they cry,” Wade said. “They say, ‘Excuse me?' and then we tell them again and they say, ‘Oh my God.' ”

Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or bkerlik@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. City’s plan for Strip flummoxes vendors
  2. Number of jobs in high-tech industry outpace workers in Pittsburgh, nation
  3. Family becomes ‘forever’
  4. Orders for Pittsburgh police hats soar with new uniform policy
  5. City of Pittsburgh detective, 2 boys finalize adoption before judge
  6. Judge denies request to lift gag order in Ford case
  7. $5M grant sought for trade center site near Pittsburgh airport
  8. Marshall land parcel along Route 910 eyed as park site
  9. Google grants teachers’ school supply wishes
  10. State lawmakers delay hearings on Corbett’s review of academic standards
  11. CDC backlog means W.Pa, likely won’t get respiratory virus diagnoses quickly
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.