WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It was the holiday surprise of the season Thursday for several Wilmington families as they arrived at the Monkey Junction Walmart in New Hanover County to find out their layaway items had been paid off.
Misrael Otero of Otero Family Dentistry paired up with the non-profit Pay Away the Lay Away to pay off more than $5,000 in layaway orders.
“We just wanted to bring some Christmas to Wilmington and basically share Christmas and pay off your layaways!” said Otero.
Families that were about to forfeit their layaway purchases were called in to discuss a potential solution only to find out they had been completely paid off.
Otero says one of his employees came up with the idea. Pay Away the Lay Away agreed to match the donations the office received.
“We brought over $5,000 in layaway payoffs this year to the Wilmington location,” said Otero. “We did the Porters Neck location last week, and the Monkey Junction location this week.”
Otero says giving back and sharing the love is what the holiday season is all about.
“You saw the smiles today, kids getting trampolines, and getting their bicycles, getting kayaks, it’s great,” he said.
Otero’s team of employees, who were a big part of the effort, say seeing the families reactions warmed their hearts.
“It makes us feel really appreciative when you see how appreciative other people are,” said one employee.
In the end, they had about $400 left over after paying off the layaway orders. They went around the store handing out $50 gift cards to customers, spreading a little more holiday cheer.