Secret Santas Continue Paying off Kmart Layways in the Ozarks

(Springfield, MO) -- You've heard of 'Secret Santas' helping unsuspecting shoppers pay off their layaway. Well, it seems Santa Claus is making his way around Springfield.

At the Kmart on E. Kearney, eight to ten Secret Santas have stopped by and either paid off or paid a hefty amount on total stranger's layaway contracts.

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

Neely says the store is perfectly happy keeping Santa's identity a secret, and is just glad to be part of the joy.

"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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