For many families, layaway is how the holidays happen, helping those who don’t have the funds to purchase an item outright, or lack the credit to buy it immediately. It’s those, of all people, who will appreciate this recent act of kindness most of all.
An anonymous person paid off all the layaway items at a Walmart in Derby, Vermont, according to WCAX. With just days before Thanksgiving and the official kick-off to the holiday season, it was likely a blessing for many families.
A customer, Julie Gates, was picking up a package at the store on Thursday when she overheard the secret Santa asking if he could pay for someone’s items.
“I don’t even think if I can find the words to say,” she told the outlet. “He came up to the man in front of me and said, ‘Either I am going to pay for it now or I am going to pay for it later.'”
He then turned to Gates and said, “Why don’t you run and get what you want now and come back here.” She was skeptical, but she did as he said and when she returned, he was still there.
The man had paid for Gates and everyone else in line. Gates estimated that the people in front of her had eight or nine-hundred dollars worth of layaway items.
“This can’t be, who can afford to pay for everyone’s layaway? And he said ‘Santa Claus can,'” Gates said. But his kind gesture wasn’t just for the people in line. On Saturday, the outlet reports the layaway storage room was filled from the floor to the ceiling with items, and now they’re all paid off.
Tammy Desautels was one of the individuals who had her items paid off. “It was kind of surreal when they said no balance due,” she said. “Then it was really a reality.”
Walmart is unable to disclose how much the man spent, but his kindness goes beyond gifts. For Desautels, it’s one less thing to worry about. For many families, the extra money will mean heat through the cold months, food or other necessities without giving up a magical Christmas.
“Really have a feeling that there is hope for mankind or whatever. There’s still good people out there,” said Desautels.
“I get goosebumps thinking that — that is the true magic of Christmas, that’s the Christmas spirit walking among us,” Gates said.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle: