Thursday, December 22, 2011

Layaway Angel


I love this trend that seems to be happening more frequently, but David Wilson of Laguna Beach has taken it to a whole other level. David saw a report that strangers were paying off layaways at local retailers and he wanted to do the same. He called a K-Mart closest to his house and asked the manager how many accounts were open with a balance under $100. There were 260 of them and David wrote a check totaling almost $16,000 to pay them all off. At the same store, another $8,000 have been paid off by other random strangers. To me this is really touching. You know that people who are placing items on layaway probably need help and they are probably getting presents for their kids and I just think the spirit of giving is amazing in this. Every kid needs a Christmas.

33 comments:

cheesegrater15 said...

Amazing.

Patty said...

It seemed like many stores had lay-away when I was a kid. Used it myself a few times, then it seemed to disappear. Now, many are brining it back, which is a good thing for those that need help.

Keep the good stories coming!

New Life and Attitude said...

That is an awesome story!

Rose said...

I remember buying a locket on layaway at Kmart when I was little. This is a great story. It's nice to hear this kind of stuff.

Bit dams said...

layaway at kmart sounds like you could REALLY use some help. nice feel-good story. seems like lots of these this year. (yay!)

Borg Queen said...

damn this is such an amazing thing. It never occurred to me that you could pay off other people's layaway. I might do this next year.

RJ said...

This kind of thing is happening at our local Wal-Mart, too. We've gone in with some other people to help pay some layaways for people that we know for a fact are working hard and still struggling. None of us thought we could make much of a difference individually, but realized that if we pooled our money we could. Helping makes us happy!

Dishtlk said...

Good for you RJ! And this is so sweet, yay warm fuzzies!!!!

Sherry said...

Wow just when you think the world has gone to hell in a hand basket people go out and do something nice. Heartwarming since times are hard for everyone right now. (Except for those 1 %'ers)

Tempestuous Grape said...

Kmart layaway is how my mom was able to afford presents each year when I was a kid (in the 70's). I think this is very touching and I'm happy so many people are doing it.

Sadie said...

You know I'll most likely have most of you jump my ass for saying this but I'm gonna say it anyway.

Two things.
One - for eight years I was medically unable to work (after having worked 16 years and am now back to work for nearly 9 yrs) and during that time I had young children that were forced to learn that Christmas IS NOT all about gifts.
Two - while its absolutely fantastic these layaway angels are doing they're thing...
I think a the true thing to do here is to teach these kids NOW while parents have the chance that Christmas is NOT ABOUT GIFTS!

I'm SO tired of the commercialism of it all!

Sorka8 said...

Reading a story like this sure helps me remember the season better. I need a lot more of this to undo the pain of this :
Yesterday was pretty hard with the news of a friend who had her house broken into and EVERY present stolen. ALL of it.

even the dog is gone.

Why must some people be such hateful grinches?

Sean said...

This happened to a relative of mine last week. She went to go pick up her presents for her granddaughter. She got to the front of the line, and found out someone had paid for all the gifts she had been saving for.

She then took the money she saved, and gave it to the Salvation Army outside.

Wil said...

I hope I will be able to do this at some point. Imagine the wonderful Christmas Cheer it gives you!

And I hear you Sadie. I have been out of work due to health since 1998. Spent 5 years holding for a kidney transplant, got it and was fired by US Bank for my struggles. Now, even though I am healthy, no one wants to touch me because of how long I have been out of work and I cannot go back to work in my industry because I declared bankruptcy last Dec 21. Then there is the fact that this Christmas is the first anniversary of me losing my home.

Frankly, my Christmas' have been sh*t for so long I literally cannot remember when I had my last good one and could give gifts - even homemade fudge and cookies are off the list as I just do not have the money. Hell .. this year I decided to say screw it and put up Christmas lights outside my apartment and sit in the friggin' dark because I have had enough of crappy Christmas'.

At some point you have got to fight back against the onslaught of crap, IMHO. If I had kids and they wanted toys or what have you, I would get one for each. Commercialism? No .. just a nice gift so they feel a tiny bit of joy.

I say "Bravo!" to the folks who can afford to do this and are doing this. In this climate we are in right now, if often seems like those who have are futuristic versions of Mr. Potter and those who don't are George Bailey. It is nice to see that isn't actually the case for everyone who has money and they are willing and able to share.

I am the antithesis [really .. Godless Heathen here] of religious, but for today I will say .. God bless them and the works they do.

brakewater said...

Sherry - Did it occur to you that the "1%ers" (which is a made up term to stoke class warfare) may have actually been the secret santas? Don't you think the guy who has $16k to spare is a 1%er?

old ;ady said...

After my Husband died of cancer in 09, my daughter and I decided to do Christmas different since it was his favorite time. He grew up in Foster Care and was finally adopted at age 10 and then he had to kill animals to have anything to eat. I know of older people in this town that fed him and gave him clothes. His adopted parents were drinkers, and he was forgotten. He joined the Army at 16 so he would get 3 meals a day. So in his name in 09, we gave 25 cans of baby formula to the local food pantry. They said that it was always asked for and they never had any. It cost us around $400. Then the fire dept wanted stuffed animals and blankets for familes when they had fires. So we bought enough stuffed animals to fill 2 big shopping bags and 10 new blankets. That cost us $1000. We got a few things for my granddaughter but, she was only 4 months old. We felt great for the first time that year. In 2010, we picked 10 groups and sent them $100. This year we did the same thing and then picked 20 groups as my grandson was killed in Iraq in June. We do this in my husbands name and now my grandsons. Believe when you get those Thank You cards, you know what Christmas is all about.

Robert said...

@Sadie: I read a quote on FB today that said, in essence, that if you don't find Christmas in your heart, you'll never find it under a tree.
@Wil: I'm sorry to hear about your struggles; I'm familiar with the bankruptcy and losing the home situations, and poverty is my middle name. But I'm sending you good wishes for the coming year and hoping things improve in the days to come.
@old ;ady: Your post made me verklempt. I'm sorry for your losses, but you've managed to turn negatives into positives, and your husband and grandson have been honored by your acts.

Bit dams said...

Sadie, no offense, really. BUT, at our house christmas is about gifts. gifts and santa and candy and family and friends, and there is never ANY mention of jesus. my ex shoves jesus up their asses and then throws them across the room, screams that they are worthless pieces of crap that have ruined his life and that they are "Godless". THEN, he goes out dressed as a woman and has sex with strangers in bath houses. to each their own, but the gift thing is working at our house. but, in all sincerity, merry christmas.

Anonymous said...

@Sean, your friend is paying it forward! I am seriously loving this. Wish I could afford to do the same...people can be amazing after all.

Jessica said...

I hate to be cynical - but when I saw the original story on the news, the "manager" was all super excited and bouncy and grinning, and when the story was over, I realized they didn't talk to a single other worker, person that had their acct paid off, no one, just the overly excited dude.
Then I thought, wow, can you imagine if you "thought" this whole thing up and it made people flood Kmarts across the country?
Now here it is happening. And not only that, but yesterday McDonalds suddenly came out with their very own similar story.
A McDonalds manager said a man in a Santa suit walked in and bought $200 worth of McD's gift cards, then handed them back to the cashier and said "Give these to people in need". Again, no one else interviewed except the manager, who seemed beyond incredulous about the whole thing, but at the same time had the whole "We've gotta get in on this gravy train too!" thing going on...
Ok Ok managers, enough. You're getting huge Christmas bonuses this year. Pat yourself on the back.

Again, sorry to be so cynical, but we'll know the truth next year. If these stories come out much earlier than they did this year, in order to get many more people rushing in to put loads of stuff on Lawaway, hoping to get it for free, and giving plenty of time for many good-deeders to come in the door with $16k checks. Double bonus for the store. Plus I'm sure there are some Wendy's and Target managers kicking themselves right now, we'll see if they join in next year.

We'll see...

Del Riser said...

This is now happening all over.In one store here a lady and her two children went to the counter to pay and found it had been taken care of already. Her two kids who had five dollar gift certificates gave them to the clerk to pay for someone else.

These children gave with no urging from a parent simply because a kindness had been done for them. Not to say that Mom wasn't already instilling the "caring for others" feeling in her kids.

My hat is also off to K-Mart a store that does not have one bit of glamor attached, they have had a
year round lay away policy for close to forty years. I'm sure many depend on this.

I love a feel good story.

car54 said...

I think this is a great idea. I wish I had thought to do it.

The grocery store in my town starts making up bags of food for the food pantry in town, so since Thanksgiving I buy one each time I shop and feel like it isn't a lot but it does make me feel like I am helping someone.

I think whatever you can do for someone else at the holiday time--if it's something money related or giving time, or donating something you don't need anymore--it goes to a good cause. And it doesn't matter whose idea it is --it helps the retailer--who is making jobs and paying people who need the money--it helps the people who benefit--there is nothing about it that isn't positive.

Sean, I love that your relative gave their gift certificate to pay for someone else...that's really lovely.

Jesse D said...

There will always be cynical doubters in every crowd.

Paying it forward is a beautiful thing. Carry on.

Mily Marz said...

Tears...this is what it's all about.

Henriette said...

I really loved this story! I there is a lot of commercialism, but this is such a beautiful idea.

I always buy toys for the various toy charities and now I want to do this too. I think this is a great lesson to teach kids about giving and not just getting.

Anotheramy said...

This happened here too yesterday. I love this. You know that someone who still has things on layaway a few days before Christmas is struggling. These are people who are not asking for a handout but plan on paying for these things themselves. What a great way to give to others and really make an impact.

Icecat said...

This story made me smile. I didn't realize this was happening, and these people ROCK!

Linnea said...

I am not ashamed to say that I cried a little bit when I first saw these stories...

figgy said...

@Sorka8, that's a horrible story but the worst part is the DOG! Gifts, okay, homeowners might even cover that, but THAT POOR DOG!!!

Maja With a J said...

A little bit of cynicism is healthy, but this is really a nice story. I usually put money in the red kettles and donate to the food bank, but this is a little bit more "hands-on" if you will.

Lelaina Pierce said...

Love these stories!!

@Sorka8 - that breaks my heart!! Especially about the dog. :-(

@Sean - That's really cool! Especially since the person paid it forward!!

Sadie said...

Bless you Wil...I know you have it hard and thanks for sharing with us! If I can say nothing more but this...I know it gets better!

Regarding: "If I had kids and they wanted toys or what have you, I would get one for each. Commercialism? No .. just a nice gift so they feel a tiny bit of joy."
Your right...and I total agree!

Best wishes to you Wil and Good Luck in your endeavors and most assuredly HUGS to you!

Sadie said...

@ Robert, Amen and Thank you for sharing that!

@ Me, totally appreciate where your coming from. I don't practice religion on a regular basis so when I talked about being tired of the commercialism of Christmas I'm sure one could assume I meant that we'd all forgotten about Jesus. My aim was more towards Christmas in terms of spending time with loved ones and cherishing every moment.

@ Jesse D - I am by no means a cynical doubter - simply saying I wish Christmas wouldn't be so commercialized.

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