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Morning Express with Robin Meade

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'Layaway angels' spend big $$ on strangers

  • Secret Santa in California spent more than $10,000
  • 20+ families in Connecticut shocked by stranger's kindness
A group of Secret Santas are making the holidays more enjoyable this season.

One secret Santa in California is responsible for making Christmas brighter for 60 families. Officials at the Kmart in Anaheim tell HLN an anonymous donor spent more than $10,000 on layaway contracts for complete strangers! 

In all, secret Santas have walked into 71 Kmart stores and paid off more than $85,000 in layaway balances.

More than two dozen customers at a Wal-Mart in Massachusetts had their layaway balances paid off by the same anonymous donor. He even left a Christmas card from his daughter for each family. The secret Santa didn’t want to be identified, but a few of the families who benefited from his kindness spoke to HLN.

Samantha tells us she was shocked and really excited when the manager called her to say her layaway balance of about $125 had been paid off. This was her first year using layaway for Christmas and she says it was mostly toys for her 2-year-old son Mason and her nieces. She’s a single mom who works as a certified nursing assistant at an assisted living facility. She said some of her residents were brought to tears when she told them about what happened.


Mandy is a stay-at-home mom with a 2-year-old and a baby on the way. She says she broke into tears instantly when she heard that her layaway balance of about $100 had been paid by a stranger. Her husband works as an electrician, but she says money has been tight. The toys that she had on layaway included a train set and other toys for her nieces and nephews. She did write a thank you card to the secret Santa and asked the store to pass it along. It included a photo of her family.

Teresa told us she was extremely happy and very grateful when she heard the same secret Santa had paid off her $200 layaway balance. It included some Barbie and Dora toys for her 4-year-old daughter, plus some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle gear and Beyblade toys for her 7-year-old son.  Teresa is a hairstylist and her husband works in construction, but she tells us it’s been hard for him to find work in this economy. She says it’s nice to know there are good people out there.    

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