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Beliefnet News

All across America, “Secret Santas” anonymously paying off strangers’ layaways

A generosity phenomenon is spreading like wildfire this Christmas season — “Secret Santas” walking up to layaway counters and paying off balances owed by total strangers.

A Michigan family learns of their good fortune

The phenomenon may have begun in Michigan where a woman paid off three layaway charges at a Grand Rapids Kmart. Media coverage prompted a slew of copycat givers. Then it spread to stores in Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, Montana and beyond, according to Kmart executives.

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Usually the benefactor swears clerks to secrecy, then asks them to find layaway accounts where children’s clothing or toys have been put aside — usually with the customer paying a little each month, then showing up just before Christmas with final payment.

Lori Stearnes thought it was a prank when an Omaha Kmart clerk called to tell her that a Secret Santa had paid off the $58 owed on her account, according to USA Today.  “It was a shock, of course, and then it just made me feel warm and fuzzy,” she says. She picked up the

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  • Suzy Walker

    I love that….Gods heart is loving this

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