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

Christmas came early for shoppers at a Tulsa Walmart this year after a secret Santa paid off all delinquent and due layaway debts Wednesday.

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Through the Salvation Army, shoppers not only had their layaway debts paid, but those who had items on layaway also received a $50 Walmart gift card. The secret Santa also donated a generous amount to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.

Shoppers received an email through Walmart stating that their accounts had been paid off and they could come to the store to pick up their items. Many of those items were Christmas presents for children and other loved ones.

The payment for 162 people’s layaway items, the gift cards and the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program donations totaled between $45,000 and $50,000.

“When customers quietly pay off others’ layaway items, we’re reminded how good people can be. The joy that comes from these transactions extends well beyond dollars and cents. We’re honored to be a small part of these random acts of kindness,” said Walmart corporate spokeswoman Leslee Wright.

This is the third year in a row a secret Santa has done something like this for layaway customers at an area big box store.

Walmart said not everyone was behind on payments, and some families, including employees, were using the store’s layaway program as a way to hide toys and others Christmas gifts from their children.