Secret Santa pays off customers' layaway

Secret Santas are popping up everywhere. Local resident Lupe Castro received an early Christmas present Friday afternoon when she was informed her layaway had been taken care of. “It truly is a blessing,” Castro said. “It is a rare thing to see, but it’s nice to see there are still people out there with caring hearts.”Wal-Mart Assistant Manager Erica Rodriques said the anonymous donor walked in and expressed the desire to pay for 22 layaways. “At first, I wasn’t sure he could do that, but once I checked and found out he could, it truly touched my heart,” Rodriques said. “I had to walk away for a minute because I started to cry, I was so touched.”The balanced paid — each left with less than a $1 balance in order for them to remain in the system — ranged from $30 to almost $300. All were chosen at random with the only stipulation being the layaways had to be toys. Rodriques said the only explanation was the donor’s heart was touched by the reports of other anonymous people paying off layaways at several Kmarts across the country. The donor said it was something that should be happening here. “It helped me out and I will surely be paying it forward,” Castro said. The anonymous donor told Rodriques hard times were understood and the main point was to offer help other people. “I couldn’t believe this was happening right here in our little town,” Rodriques said. Then again, Big Spring isn’t the only little town experiencing the season of giving in its truest form. According to the Associated Press, several Kmarts have experienced anonymous donors coming in and paying off layaways. There has yet to be determined an explanation for this sudden burst of holiday giving. Some of the gestures have been attributed to the donors being able to relate to being in hard times. A donor in Indianapolis said the gesture was made in memory of her recently deceased husband. No reason may be available , but one thing is certain — each one was made from the heart and won’t soon be forgotten. Contact Staff Writer Amanda Moreno at 263-7331 ext. 234 or by e-mail at