Mystery Shopper Pays Off Layaway Items at Pennsylvania Walmart

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Nearly 200 shoppers at a Walmart in rural Pennsylvania got an early holiday present this week when a mysterious “Secret Santa” paid off every item the store had saved on layaway.

Ryan Kennedy, manager of the Walmart in Everett, Pennsylvania, received a phone call earlier this week from an individual calling themselves “Santa B.” The person offered to pay the cost of every item customers had put on layaway this holiday season.

A total of 194 customers had put items on layaway at that particular small-town Walmart. Everett sits along I-76 between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg and is home to less than 2,000 people. The cost of those 194 layaway items was just over $46,000.

Kennedy told Santa B the total cost of every layaway items, and the two set up a time for someone close to the mystery shopper to bring a check to the store. The check arrived on Wednesday, at which point Kennedy was able to start calling customers to let them know they could pick up their layaway items, which were now fully paid for.

“It was definitely a great gesture. I was completely shocked,” said Kennedy. “Some individuals were just brought to tears when they were notified about it.”

“I’m not the only one – some people really needed that this Christmas and I’m just grateful and thankful that they can do that and in their heart,” said Pamela Foor, one Walmart shopper who benefited from the generosity of the “Secret Santa.”

Kennedy says that he’s heard of similar acts by generous strangers, but never thought it would happen at his store. He adds that he hasn’t met “Santa B,” but would like to, just to say “thank you,” and perhaps ask why.

“I would just be curious as to what made them choose us, and let them know how grateful we are for the gesture, and how much it meant to the customers that we have been able to serve,” said Kennedy.

“When customers quietly pay off others’ layaway items, we’re reminded how good people can be,” Walmart said in a statement released Friday. “The joy that comes from these transactions extends well beyond dollars and cents. We’re honored to be a small part of these random acts of kindness.”