‘Secret Santa’ Pays Off $45K in Layaway Balances at Alabama Walmart: ‘I’m Extremely Blessed’
A Walmart spokesman tells PEOPLE that the company sees a spike in similar donations during the holiday season
A Secret Santa made his list, checked it twice, and walked into an Alabama Walmart to pay off layaway items for dozens of grateful customers.
An anonymous man made the generous donation at the Walmart in Anniston on Monday, handing over about $45,000 to cover any remaining layaway balances, Walmart spokesman Casey Staheli confirms to PEOPLE.
“We see it quite frequently around the holiday season,” he says. “There's a lot of kind and really generous people who make a difference.”
The man's gift was accompanied by a note that read, “God loves you. Jesus paid the price,” according to ABC affiliate WBMA.
Customer Hannah Haynes told the outlet she was beyond surprised by her good fortune when she dropped by the store to pick up her children's Christmas gifts on Monday, which was reportedly the last day to pay for items on layaway.
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“I said, ‘I just wanna check and see how much I owe on my layaway so I can get it off in time for Christmas,'” she recalled. “[The cashier] said, ‘Okay.' So she pulled up my account and she said, ‘You don't owe anything.' And I said, ‘Excuse me?'”
Haynes said she was incredibly grateful to the man for his generosity and was so taken with his message that she put the note on her fridge.
“Every day I'm gonna wake up like, ‘How can I bless someone? How can I show someone that type of love?'” she said.
The good deed even drew tears from shopper Yasmine Kirksey, who told WBMA she was “grateful.”
“I'm like, extremely blessed, shocked…but I'm happy!” she said.
Meanwhile, in nearby Oxford, Alabama, an anonymous donor also paid off the remaining $25,000 in layaway balances at a different Walmart, the Anniston Star reported. It remains unclear if the money was donated by the same man.