MIAMI (AP) -- December 17, 2011
Across Florida, secret Santas are bringing some extra holiday joy to families by paying their layaway bills for Christmas toys.
From Hialeah to Pensacola, unsuspecting families are getting phone calls or arriving at the layaway counter to find out their bill has been paid. At a Kmart near Orlando, one man helped pay the bills of more than 50 families. At another store, good Samaritans have helped nearly a dozen.
The response: Overwhelming surprise, relief and joy from impoverished parents who worried they wouldn't be able to pay in time for Christmas.
Several store managers report that more families are paying for gifts through layaway as they struggle to make ends meet in a difficult economy. Good Samaritans have been chipping in around the country.