Secret Santas Wipe Away Strangers' Layaway Debts

Anonymous donors clearing accounts at Kmarts, Walmarts

By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 17, 2011 12:13 PM CST

(Newser) – A nice fad this holiday season: Secret Santas are going around to Kmarts and Walmarts and paying off the layaway accounts of random strangers. It's happening all over, including stores in Nebraska, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, South Carolina, and Montana. The AP, NPR and Time round up examples of the anonymous holiday cheer.

A typical one: A woman in her 30s went into a Kmart store in Michigan and asked if she could help pay off accounts. She picked three that had toys, shelled out $500, and left only $10 in each account. She also left a note with the receipts, saying "Happy Holidays from a friend."

Dona, Matt, left, and Bryce Bremser, sit for photos at their Omaha home.  The Bremsers had their layaway at Kmart paid off by an unknown good Samaritan.
Dona, Matt, left, and Bryce Bremser, sit for photos at their Omaha home. The Bremsers had their layaway at Kmart paid off by an unknown good Samaritan.   (AP Photo/Dave Weaver)
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