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Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Secret Santas pay off customers' layaway accounts

By Kathy Thompson

Farrah Evans, left, stands with Walmart layaway supervisor Joyce Kremer. Kremer. . .

CELINA - Farrah Evans was shocked when she walked into work at Walmart last week and found her layaway account had been paid off.
Evans, 31, works two jobs and knew that paying the more than $100 she had pending on the presents for her two children would put a crunch on her hopes of buying them clothes.  
"Someone was so good to us," Evans said. "It made me cry."
Evans, a single mother who also takes care of her disabled parents, works at Walmart and Visions Manufacturing Group, both in Celina.
"It was just a wonderful surprise," Evans said. "I couldn't believe it."
Joyce Kremer, layaway manager at the store, said a great many customers are completely shocked when they walk in just before Christmas and find out others have paid their layaway bills.
"One gentleman came in and gave $5,300 for the layaways," Kremer said. "A lady came in and gave $200. We split the money up so a lot of our customers get their presents paid off or down quite a bit."
Evans had mostly toys in her layaway, she said.
"We're not allowed to put clothes or shoes or things like that," Evans said. "So I had picked out the things they had asked for when they talked to Santa Claus."
So under the tree on Christmas morning will be radio controlled cars, board games, Wii video games and a couple of digital cameras for Evans' children, 8-year-old Havin Montague and 6-year-old Elon Montague.
"This is so nice of someone," Evans said, as tears formed in her eyes. "I work about 12 hours a day and this just helps so much. You don't want your kids to wish they have things other kids have. You don't ever want your kids to go without."
Kremer said a few hundred customers were helped by the "secret Santas" this year.
"It's amazing," Kremer said. "What a lot of the customers do is pay it forward. When they learn their stuff has been paid off, they in turn put money down on someone else's. It's pretty neat how good people are to each other. I think that's the Christmas spirit."
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