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Layaway at Walmart All Paid for Thanks to Mystery Man Who Picked Up Store's Entire Tab

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The fall and winter holidays really get us thinking about the important things in life. We’re surrounded by family and friends, and (hopefully) grateful for the blessings we’ve been given.

That naturally extends to wanting to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Whether through handing out bagged lunches, donating supplies to a shelter, or hiding surprise cash gifts around the store, there’s something for everyone.

Those with a lot of money at their disposal have the unique opportunity to reach many people at once, and while riches are often associated with greed, there are quite a few people every year who defy that assumption.

In Derby, Vermont, one gentleman recently made many people’s Christmases when he paid off all the layaway items at a local Walmart.

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One shopper couldn’t believe his generosity. Julie Gates went to the Derby Walmart to pick up an item when a man in front of her started talking to her. She told him she was there to put something on layaway, and he shocked her by telling her to go get what she wanted and he’d pay for it.

“He said why don’t you run and get what you want now and come back here,” Gates said, according to WCAX. “So I came back and he was standing there waiting. There was no one left.”

“I don’t even think of I can find the words to say.” He paid off the entire layaway section, including the items Gates had gone to get.

“There were people ahead of me who were eight, nine hundred-dollar layaways,” she said.

More than a little surprised, she asked the generous donor who could afford to do what he’d just done. His answer was straightforward: “Santa Claus can.”

The store wouldn’t reveal the identity of this “Santa Claus” or say exactly how much he’d paid, but one quick shopper snapped a picture of him as he walked away. He’s clearly not looking for fame, he just wanted to bring some joy to the holidays for families he’d never even met.

“I get goosebumps thinking that — that is the true magic of Christmas,” claimed Gates, “that’s the Christmas spirit walking among us.”

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Tammy Desautels was another person who benefited from the anonymous man’s actions. “It was kind of surreal when they said no balance due, then it was really a reality,” she said.

“Really have a feeling that there is hope for mankind or whatever,” she continued. “There’s still good people out there.”

“I thought it was a rumor,” said Sandra Cortez, another shopper blessed by the layaway angel. “I want to thank him.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking