Layaway Santa Spends $21K On StrangersBy: Ellisha Rader Mannering - December 14, 2013
Layaway Santas have been saving Christmas for many families for years and the concept has taken off within the last few years, motivating people all over the world to pay off layaway accounts for strangers. Last year, Kmart stores across the country reported that hundreds of layaway accounts that were past due and about to be deactivated, were paid off by strangers.
These layaway Santas would either come into the store and make an anonymous payment on one or more layaways or catch random people in the layaway line and pay their layaway off for them. Many people who were on the receiving end of these good deeds said that they would not have been able to pay off their layaway in time for the holidays if it had not been for the layaway Santas.
This year, layaway Santas are at it again, saving Christmas for even more families. One layaway Santa in Florida spent over $21,000 paying off layaway balances for strangers he met in the line that day.
Greg Parady was shopping at a Walmart in Florida when he overheard several people talking about not being able to afford their layaway payments and having to cancel them. Parady said that he decided he would help out by paying off as many layaway balances as he could.
He said he started with the people who were in the layaway line and as they would checkout he would swipe his card to pay the balance. Parady said that many people couldn’t believe what was happening and that several were in tears. Parady’s bank also couldn’t believe it and started to decline payments at one point. Luckily, Parady was able to contact the bank and fix the problem.
As news of the Florida Layaway Santa began to spread, many other people began to payoff layaway balances in stores across the country. According to Parady, this is exactly what he hoped would happen.
“I didn’t intend for the attention but I hope it motivates other people,” said Parady. “I hope everyone will use it as a tool to give in their own way. It doesn’t have to be money, it can be time, or just something kind.”
Have you helped someone in need this Christmas?
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