Secret Santa Pays off $50,000 in Layaways for 100 Cash-Strapped Walmart Customers

(Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria)Customers are seen at a Walmart market in Miami, Florida May18, 2010

An anonymous donor surprised 100 Walmart customers recently after paying off their layaway balances to the tune of $50,000.

The good samaritan, dubbed "the layaway angel" by the media, chose to keep his identity under wraps while spreading Christmas cheer and requested to be called "Santa B." He took to a Silver Springs Commons, Penn., Walmart on Monday to drop off a $50,000 check to settle layaway balances for 100 lucky customers, reported The Patriot-News.

"It was definitely a surprise, and a blessing," said Tanisha Burton, of Harrisburg, who was stunned to learn her $200 balance for toys for her daughter had been paid.

Robert Carolus of Mifflin County was elated after learning that he was among the 100 customers. His layaway consisted mostly of toys for his grandkids.

"I'm overwhelmed, and I guess relieved," Carolus said. "I'm just disappointed I couldn't say thank you."

Store manager Steve Myers expressed shock in witnessing a complete stranger pay such a generous amount to help others. He said that prior to Monday's random act of kindness, the most he had seen was no more than $3000.

"He said he wanted to help take care of folks — to bring everyone a special Christmas," Myers said.

Also on Monday staffers at a Walmart in Florida saw a similar act of generosity after a donor dropped a whopping $63,000 to pay off layaway balances for Lake City customers.

"No name, no gender, the person just wanted to be the 'Angel of the Lake City Walmart,'" said store manager Gary Taylor. "Over 300 families and $63,000 was given by this angel."

Last week a woman paid off 125 layaway accounts at two Toys "R" Us stores in Massachusetts to the tune of $19,600. Cash-strapped customers at the Auburn and Framingham stores were thrilled to learn that an anonymous donor, who identified herself only as the founder of Sofia's Angels Foundation, had paid off their balances.

"These families are obviously struggling, and they're putting things on layaway, and I'm able to help them," the gift-giver told MyFoxBoston. "There's never enough to do. There's always more to do."