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‘Layaway angels’ alight at Logan Kmart, pay off accounts

December 16th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By April Ashland

LOGAN — All across the country, anonymous donors have been stepping forward to pay on Kmart’s layaway plans so families can have Christmas. It’s happened in Michigan, Nebraska, and now it’s happening in Logan.

“She came in and said she wanted to help someone out for Christmas,” said Tayshia Chambers, a Kmart employee and USU student. “She paid $75 on two accounts that hadn’t paid in a while. It’s probably a real relief for someone who needs it right now.”

On both accounts the woman left mere cents on the account, in order to keep the items in layaway. When the owner of the account comes in, one will have 29 cents and the other will have 49 cents.

In a Salt Lake City store, people came in and paid $900 on others’ layaways Friday alone.

“There was a woman who came in today and was going to return half of the items she had on layaway because she couldn’t afford it, and a woman behind her walked up and paid $160 in cash, wished her a Merry Christmas and left,” said manager Brian Hubbell.

Hubbell said such a thing hadn’t really happened before in his store.

Another woman came in today and said she was teaching her daughters about Christmas, and each of them agreed to forgo a toy this year in order to help another family. She paid the past due payments plus on, to bring the account to a positive balance.

“It’s very pleasant,” Hubbell said. “They just come in and ask to pay a (layaway) off, and someone gets Christmas.”

This phenomenon has happened not just in Salt Lake and Logan, but in St. George, Price and Provo. The holiday cheer is spread by completely anonymous donors, and many individuals who wouldn’t have had Christmas are receiving some help.


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