About 200 shoppers received an early and unexpected Christmas gift last week when an anonymous person paid off over $46,000 worth of layaway items at a Walmart store.
The benefactor, who goes by the name Santa B, reportedly called a Walmart store in Everest, Pennsylvania to make arrangements to pay for all the items on the store's layaway shelves.
As reported by Bedford Country Free Press in a social media post, the donor then sent a woman to deliver a check with the amount of $46,265.59 to cover the consolidated value of the layaway items in the afternoon of Dec. 7.
Ryan Kennedy, the Walmart store manager who received the call, told CNN that he was completely surprised that something out of ordinary will take place that day. "It was complete disbelief," he said, adding, "It was definitely a great gesture. I was completely shocked."
After receiving the donation, the staff at Walmart started calling 194 shoppers with layaway items at the store to inform them about the good news. Many were obviously touched by the gesture.
As for the generous donor, little is known about Santa B. A Walmart spokesperson divulged to CNBC, though, that it's the third year in a row that "Santa B" has done an act of goodwill at a Pennsylvania store. The representative also shared that the signature on the checks is that of a man.
Layaway allows financially strapped shoppers to reserve products and pay them in full over a period of time. During the holiday season, many customers use this method to get a hold of gift items that they cannot afford right away.
In related news, a group called Pay Away the Layaway, founded in 2011, targets to pay off around $100,000 worth of layaway items this Christmas season, its founder Lee Karchawer told CNBC. The group has partnerships with Kmart, Toys "R" Us, and Burlington. They will be holding activities in 30 cities in the United States this season, but as per Karchawer, they are not disclosing in advance where their events will be held.