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Secret Santas Spread Holiday Spirit

11:55 PM, Dec 9, 2011   |    comments
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Plainfield Township, MI -- The number of unidentified people paying off the Kmart layaway accounts of strangers is multiplying.

"They saw the story on the news the last couple of days and wanted to do something similar," explains Dan Veenstra, a manager at the Kmart store in Plainfield Township.

It started Tuesday, when a woman spent $500 to pay layaway accounts at the Kmart in Plainfield Township. Wednesday, a man calling himself a "copy cat" spent $2,000 to help more layaway customers.

"Yes, I was surprised," says Suzanne Murray, who had $100 anonymously applied to her layaway account. "I was happy, too!"

Thursday, ten more anonymous givers joined the Merry Christmas movement. The kind acts also reached other West Michigan Kmarts.

"It's kind of snowballed since the first incident," says Veenstra.

In Greenville, a man settled several layaway bills at the Kmart on Thursday. In Hastings, a woman paid off 50 layaway accounts.

"She actually said she wanted to pay off everybody's layaway until she heard the actual dollar amount was $95,000," says Veenstra. "But she spent about $5,000 on people's layaways."

The anonymous people paying off the layaways ask the Kmart staff to find accounts where the merchandise is necessities, or the customers who are behind on their payments.

"In past years we've had somebody come in and want to pay on somebody they know," recalls Veenstra. "But not for complete strangers."

Story originally posted on WZZM13.

WZZM 13

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