They are calling it a Christmas Miracle. But it’s one we have seen before. An anonymous shopper came into a Walmart in the city of Bristol, Tennessee, last Monday and donated just shy of $65,000 to pay the balance of items placed on the store’s layaway.
Shopper Lloyd Leonard said that he initially thought it was “weird” that he got a notification that his items had been paid off, but a manager soon let him know about the magic behind it. “She said, ‘Yeah somebody came in this morning at 6 o’clock and paid everybody’s layaway,'” Leonard recalled of the manager’s message. “‘But he wants me to tell you that he loves you, God bless you and Merry Christmas.'”
Another shopper, April Hilliard, got the same message from management, and told of her reaction, “The emotional type that I am, I just broke. I just started crying.” she said. “That restores my faith,” she continued. “It’s like a Christmas miracle. He’s Santa, that’s what he is. He’s a Santa to everyone here.”
Store Manager Kris Light tells PEOPLE in a statement, “It’s especially touching when customers pay off others’ layaways during the holiday season and serves as another example of the generosity our customers show year-round.” Continuing “We’re honored to play a small role in these acts of kindness and we love seeing the joy it brings to our customers this time of year.”
This isn’t an isolated incident. There was another Walmart in the nearby city of Oxford that saw an anonymous donor pay off $25,000 in layaway balances. But it wasn’t made known if it was the same man who visited both stores.
It’s also something that happened last year in Anniston, Alabama, when someone anonymously paid $45,000 to cover any remaining layaway balances. The man’s gift was accompanied by a note that read, “God loves you. Jesus paid the price.”
If you have been with us for a few years you might remember back in 2018 there was a good news story around this time of year of someone who had paid off several hundreds of thousands of dollars in items on layaway.
This practice has become a growing trend in giving, with seemingly more individuals using it as a way to help those in need more directly then giving to a charity. A spokesperson for Walmart has stated that it is something they now see quite frequently around the holidays. That there are a lot of kind and really generous people who make a difference. This is your Good News Story of the Day that you can find, here.
People giving to others around the holidays is a beautiful thing, and you might want to thank them, but they are doing it in a way that is mentioned in Matthew 6:1 – “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
Story and Image from PEOPLE.