Secret Santas pay for items on layaway at stores around Western Pennsylvania
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 email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rivals try to block Uber, Lyft in Pittsburgh
- Memorial for Hill District legend a ‘fitting’ service
- UPMC workers’ compensation unit drops claim in Western Psych shooting
- Bus detours set for weekend East Busway construction
- Newsmaker: Dr. Lisa M. Cibik
- Authorities identify man killed in second Northview Heights shooting
- Port Authority T line service to detour in South Hills this weekend
- Pitt’s new chancellor Gallagher to continue broad role at school
- Beloved teacher at 3 Western Pa. schools hears from students across nation
- Americans in N. Korea beg U.S. for help as trials on vague charges draw near
- Foreign influx in Allegheny County at ‘tipping point’