Angels On Earth: Strangers Pay Off Layaway Balances At Clovis Kmart
CLOVIS, Calif. (KMPH) —
It's happening again. Generous strangers are walking into Valley stores, paying for toys that parents put on hold.
"Layaway angels" have come back for a second year in a row at a Clovis Kmart.
From barking, stuffed dogs to singing gadgets, thousands of toys that will be Christmas gifts have been put on layaway at the Clovis Kmart, on hold until parents pay off the balance over time, unless they get a phone call.
"I'm just calling from Clovis Kmart. I just wanted to let you know I had a layaway angel come by and paid off your layaway, left you owing a penny," said Norma Rangel, a layaway associate who calls customers to let them know their bill has been paid.
"Just this last Friday, we had two ladies come in and pay off 27 layaways," said Rangel.
The pair paid for nearly $2,000 worth of toys for complete strangers.
Brittney Holtz is one lucky customer.
She picked out gifts for their three kids a month ago and says this year, it's been a struggle to make ends meet.
"We want to say thank you, thank you guys!" said Holtz to her mystery angel.
Without layaway, many say they don't know how they'd afford Christmas gifts.
"Yeah, it's really hard, especially with three kids, doing it on your own. But I got to try. I do it every year though," said Tiffany Oden.
Last year, she saw the surprises unfold for other customers. She wasn't one of the lucky ones.
"But it's still a blessing to get your layaway paid for," said Oden.
She's not expecting anyone to pick up her tab, and neither do the people, who end up getting the unexpected call.
"They can't believe what's going on. A lot of them say this is the greatest news they've heard within this year," said Rangel.
So far, angels have paid off about $7,000 worth of layaway toys and gifts. By Christmas time last year, layaway angels at this store had paid $50,000 for layaway orders.
Most layaway angels ask to remain anonymous, and they tell employees specifically, they want to pay off orders that include toys for kids.