A reminder for some of what Christmas is about.
Complete strangers have been going into Toys R Us stores across America and paying off the bills of the customers – to help those struggling to afford Christmas this year.
These mystery donors have been nicknamed ‘layaway angels’ by the US media. In the biggest payout so far, one woman walked into a Toys R Us branch in Massachusetts and spent over $20,000 (£13,000) paying off the layaway accounts (money owed by to Toys R Us by customers). The visitor who was described as a “bubbly older woman” went through each account before hugging the store manager and saying “If you have it, give it” and that she would “sleep better at night” knowing the debts had been paid.
This trend of selfless giving has been going on for a few years now and is becoming increasingly common. Just a few days after this recent case another store reported a similar generous donation, this time someone paid $19,600 clearing 125 families debts. A spokeswoman for Toys R Us which are happy to accept the donations (who wouldn’t) said: “It’s what the holidays are all about”.
It’s not just Toys R Us that’s happy with the Layaway angels though. One customer who had her debts cleared by the woman said she “almost wanted to cry” after receiving a phone call from Toys R Us explaining a stranger had paid her bill. “It was only $50, but to me that’s a lot of money, and that someone would go and do that gave me chills.”
These layaway accounts are a way for customers to pay for Christmas gifts over a period of time before they can collect them just before the holidays. However, some families end up not being able to afford the items as the payments are due in before Christmas so this was a timely donation for many people.
This is one trend we hope catches on. Since this news broke out a range of American Football stars have donated money for the same cause. We wonder if the Premier League players earning £250,000 a week will follow suit…