Layaway Donations Double Overnight at E. Kearney Kmart

(Springfield, MO) -- More good news for Springfield Kmarts. Since our story aired Tuesday, the number of 'Secret Santas' at the E. Kearney Kmart store has doubled.

Store manager Susan Neely says about 10 more people came to the store last night and this morning to help pay off layaway accounts for total strangers.

As the number of donations go up, so have questions about where the money goes if a balance isn't paid off in time. Let's say you donate $100 to an account that totals $600; where does that money go if the balance isn't paid off in time?

"Any remaining funds will be transferred to another account that we're certain will be paid off," says Neely, but that hasn't had to happen yet. She says none of the money is returned to Kmart.

Neely says some ask to help single parents, others request layaway contracts with lots of toys and kids clothes.

"We had one lady in when I checked her out the other day and when she came in she only owed a penny on her layaway and we convinced her that yes, that was correct, someone had opened their heart, and she literally left in tears," says Neely. "It was just tears of joy that someone would help her out that way. She had three little kids and so they're going to have a christmas this year. So it's just fantastic."

Neely adds that some folks who benefitted from a Secret Santa last year are returning the favor to someone else this year, and that its heart-warming to watch people 'pay it forward.'

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