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Man pays layaway balances for 135 families

A successful businessman with ties to Memphis, Tennessee decided to give some holiday cheer to some families in the Whitehaven community.

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Steve Bryson was raised in Nutbush, about 65 miles northeast of Memphis.

"We were dirt poor,” Bryson said. “Somebody made fun of me once (because) I posted my old house on Facebook and they said you shouldn't make fun of people’s houses and said that was mine.”

>> Related: Anonymous donor pays for families' holiday layaway gifts at Toys R Us

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After serving in the Army, Bryson married up in life and started two successful businesses in California but remained charitable to Memphis.

On Monday, he and his wife Samantha reached out to Walmart to help 135 families in Whitehaven who had layaways for holiday gifts.

>> Related: Secret Santa surprises Walmart shoppers, pays off $166K in layaways

Bryson offered to pay off balances of those customers. Corporate was grateful but skeptical.

"An hour later I received a phone call from an operational marketing specialist who that took care of southern Memphis who wanted to know ‘A,’ are we for real and ‘B,’ what did we want?” Samantha Bryson said. “We said we just wanted to help out and do this for you guys."

>> Related: Secret Santa pays for thousands of dollars in layaway items at Oklahoma Walmart

The gesture was no cheap feat. It cost the Brysons about $30,000, and the people receiving their generosity may never get a chance to thank them.

"I have been doing it since I was 24 years old,” Steve Bryson said. “I believe if I don’t keep giving I don't have any right to have anything myself.”

>> Related: 'Secret Santa' pays $46k to pay off holiday layaway accounts

Make no mistake, life is good for the Bryson's, and it is not about material possessions.

"My kids are all doing great. Life is pretty good. Grandchild is beautiful as the day is long. We have been blessed beyond imagination," Steve Bryson said. 

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