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Kmart Layaway Angel Trend Hits Bethlehem

Anonymous shoppers are paying off layaways for strangers at Kmart stores

A nationwide trend of anonymous shoppers paying off lawaways for strangers at Kmart stores has hit the Lehigh Valley including the Kmart on Linden Street in Bethlehem.

"We just had three over the weekend," assistant manager Diane Charles told Patch on Monday.

A couple paid $250 toward three different layaways. Two other donors gave about $100 to pay off purchases for strangers.

Charles said she chose layaways that were delinquent and that included children's toys, figuring the layaway angels would have the biggest impact by covering those purchases.

She then called the layaway customers to inform them of their good fortune.

"They were ecstatic," she said. "One person wanted to know who paid it off and I told them it was just a random customer."

Charles said the wave of generosity has also hit the in South Whitehall and a store in Quakertown, where a layaway angel gave $500 to help strangers with their purchases.

Charles has seen do-gooders pay off layaways for strangers in past years but said national publicity seems to be promoting such random acts of kindness this season.

"It seems to be happening more than previous years," she said.

The trend . Patch first reported on layaway angels on December 16.  In recent days, stories of anonymous layaway payoffs have been reported from South Carolina to Iowa and Wisconsin to California. The epidemic of giving is also cheering families in .

Reports have also come from several Wal-Mart stores but more instances may be happening at Kmart because it is one of the few large discount stores that has offered layaway year-round for about 40 years. 

BethTwp December 20, 2011 at 04:45 PM
Glenn Beck told his viewers to do this a few weeks ago. Amazing the good being done. And yet, the Tea Partiers are violent...
Steve December 23, 2011 at 12:41 AM
Beth did not say that....... "you did" !
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