Anonymous donations pay off $70K in layaway purchases

Posted at 7:09 AM, Dec 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-16 08:09:53-05

ANNISTON, Ala. -- Walmart shoppers in Alabama got a happy holiday surprise when donations paid off $70,000 in layaway purchases at two stores, the company said Friday.

Someone paid off $45,000 in purchases at a store in the east Alabama city of Anniston on Monday, according to Casey Staheli, a spokesman at company headquarters in Arkansas. Someone paid off another $25,000 in layaway purchases two days later at a Walmart in nearby Oxford.

WBMA-TV reports that an unidentified man walked into a Walmart store in Anniston and paid off the bills, and customers who arrived to pick up layaway items got a note that said: “God loves you. Jesus paid the price.” The same note wasn't left at the other store, the spokesman said.

Hannah Haynes told the television station that she knew Monday was the deadline to pay for her layaway items and stopped by on her lunch break. Haynes told the cashier she wanted to check her balance so she could get the her children's gifts in time for Christmas.

“She said, ‘OK,’ So she pulled up my account and she said, 'You don't owe anything.' I said, 'Excuse me.'"

Haynes said she put the man's note on her refrigerator as a reminder to be good to others.

“Every day I'm gonna wake up like, how can I bless someone?” she said. “How can I show someone that type of love.”

Yasmine Kirksey went to the store on Tuesday after hearing about the layaway payoff on Facebook.

“I'm grateful,” she said. “I'm, like, extremely blessed, shocked, but I'm happy.”

Many of the beneficiaries of the man's generosity said they wish they knew who he was so they could thank him.

The donations were generous but not unique.

“It happens around the country, generally during the holiday season,” said Staheli.