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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The spirit of giving is in the air across the nation. Anonymous donors are paying off layaway purchases at Kmart stores from coast to coast. Now, it’s happening in Wilmington.

“I was astonished, shocked, surprised,” David Marlowe said.

Many emotions ran through Marlowe Saturday night. That’s when a stranger sitting in the Kmart layaway department did something unexpected.

“When I went up to make the payment on my layaway, a gentleman stepped up and said he was going to go ahead and pay for it,” Marlowe said.

The generous donor didn’t want any recognition. He only wanted to help.

He did.

“It helped us tremendously,” Marlowe said. “It’s no secret, the economy the way it is, you’ve got to pinch every dollar.”

But the secret Santa wasn’t finished yet. The Marlowes aren’t the only ones who received a Christmas surprise.

“It was several while I was back there,” Marlowe said. “They had a stack of paid layaway receipts that he had already paid up, and he had helped several people before I got there, and it was an emotional layaway.”

There have been “emotional layaways” across the nation. Anonymous donors are popping up at Kmarts everywhere paying off balances for unsuspecting shoppers. It happened recently in Nevada, Iowa, South Carolina and now here.

“They had a lady who actually come back from purchasing her layaway a few minutes earlier, and she gave him a hug and a kiss,” Marlowe said. “I told him I wasn’t going to give him a hug and a kiss, but I shook his hand and told him how much I appreciated it.”

Marlowe says the anonymous donor told him he knew what it was like to struggle, so now he’s helping others.

Marlowe wanted to show his appreciation. He volunteers at the Cape Fear Optimist Christmas tree lot in the Kmart parking lot. When he found out the Kmart Santa didn’t have a tree yet. He bought him one. After all, it’s even better to give then to receive.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest461

    Between Berger, Leland and the Brunswick Co. DSS, the reading audience is completely captivated. Maybe this speaks volumes for reader intelligence…

  • Guest3

    Unfortunately, I’ve found that, with the general public, if it doesn’t affect them personally in some way, they’re not interested.

    “Human history is the sad result of each one looking out for himself.” – Julio Cortazar


  • guesty

    The democrats will discover you have more money than you need and they will try to put a tax on folks paying for other people.

  • becky jones

    I went to kmart tonight to pick up my layaway for moy kids. I told the lady i needed to return some of the stuff. she explained i could do that at the service desk. Then she asked a man that had been standing there if he wanted to pay for my layaway? I was like HUH ? he asked one question “is it toys” she said yes and said it is 70 dollars. He quickly gave her a credit card and told me merry christmas. I started to cry and told him what a blessing. I have twin boys that are 7 and this was such a huge help. I gave him a hug and said thank you. WOW !! i later found out this was happening. I had no idea so I was EXTRA shocked :)


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