Secret Santa pays off $5K in layaways

MIDDLETOWN (AP) — A Secret Santa has paid off nearly $5,000 in shoppers’ layaways at a southwest Ohio Wal-Mart store.

Store manager Darren Dooley tells the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News the anonymous Santa paid off layaway items at a Wal-Mart store in Middletown last week. He did the same thing last year as well.

Dooley says he knows the person’s identity, but that he doesn’t want it revealed.

“People are ecstatic when they come in to make their final payoff,” Dooley said. “It’s really overwhelming to them and they are very grateful.”

Dooley says layaways have also been paid at other Wal-Mart stores in the region.

Ceceli Abernathy was told the Secret Santa had paid off her $50 deficit for toys she purchased for her daughter at a Wal-Mart in Dayton. The Kettering woman called it a beautiful gesture.

“I’m blown away right now,” Abernathy said. “I can’t believe it. That is amazing. You really filled my heart with a lot of love.”