Many people who had layaway items at Walmarts in Forsyth County are celebrating Christmas early this year.
In a public Facebook post to Dolezal’s page on Dec. 12, he explained that the fund paid off all of the layaway items, totaling about $24,000, at the Marketplace Walmart in Cumming. They later paid off the items at the Coal Mountain and West Forsyth/Highway 9 stores.
On Friday, the team was working to raise enough money to cover the bill at the Peachtree Parkway location.
Michelle Prater, president and CEO of the North Georgia Community Foundation, couldn’t confirm whether the amount had been reached. She did say the team has been “incredibly successful in what they're doing and the amount of money raised.”
“It’s quite incredible how the community has come around to support this cause,” Prater said.
The fund “started out as an undercover endeavor, but at the urging of a few friends, we are taking it public to allow others to participate,” Dolezal said in the Dec. 12 post.
That’s similar to what Tyler Perry, the prolific Atlanta filmmaker, said when he recently paid off about $434,000 between two Walmarts, one in East Point and the other in Douglasville. Perry said he intended the gift to be anonymous, but confirmed the gift in a video posted to Twitter.
Inspired by Perry’s move, Kid Rock gave about $81,000 to pay off the layaway accounts at a Nashville Walmart. Saints owner Gayle Benson also paid nearly $100,000 to fulfill more than 400 layaway orders at a Walmart in New Orleans.
Sometimes the donations do remain anonymous, such as when someone paid off nearly $30,000 worth of layaways at a Walmart near Philadelphia. Similar actions have happened with undisclosed amounts in Vermont and Long Island and with $46,000 of layaway bills at a Walmart in Reno.
Sometimes the tabs are much smaller, but meaningful nonetheless. An 11-year-old boy in Massachusetts had heard about the trend, and asked his parents to pay $327.27 to cover one family’s tab.