“We probably had about 50 to 70 people,” said assistant store manager Judy Douglas.”It was definitely upwards of $7,000.”
While Douglas didn't have exact figures, she said the number of people and families that were recipients was probably higher.
“Most people wanted to impact more than one family,” she said.
The amounts given varied widely, with one donor giving $1,000, while others gave smaller amounts. Some just gave what they could afford, perhaps pulling a layaway account out of delinquency, or reducing the amount owed, she said.
The donors chose the recipients themselves, Douglas added, explaining the store made up a list of the layaway accounts of what the items were and how much was still owed with private information removed.
The reactions when people heard their accounts had been paid were very touching, she added.
“I was very impacted by it, seeing people's faces...It actually raised goosebumps,” Douglas said. “It was just so wonderful.
“There was the family with seven children, there was the woman in the hospital...There were so many nice stories,”
Douglas said while a few layaway angels pay the accounts of others every year, this year the number was remarkable. The genuine gratitude of the recipients too, made it a special holiday season.
“We need that this time of year. It's a good reminder that some people really do care,” she said. “It's refreshing.”