A wealthy Secret Santa is making the season bright for some cash-strapped Toys "R" Us shoppers in Massachusetts.
An anonymous donor shelled out thousands of dollars to wipe out all layaway balances at two Toys "R" Us stores in Auburn and Framingham, MyFoxBoston.com reported Friday.
According to The Boston Globe, the woman paid off 125 layaway accounts in Auburn at a total cost of $19,600. It was not immediately clear how many accounts were paid off in Framingham or how much they cost.
"These families are obviously struggling, and they're putting things on layaway, and I'm able to help them," the gift-giver, who declined to give her name, told MyFoxBoston. "There's never enough to do. There's always more to do."
She identified herself as the founder of Sofia’s Angels Foundation and said she started the nonprofit in memory of her mother who died of breast cancer.
"I have a baby; it helps a lot," said one shopper who had some toys on layaway. "She's just awesome. I'm gonna cry."
The Sofia's Angels founder said she was not the "layaway angel" who on Wednesday settled 150 layaway accounts at the Toys "R" Us in Bellingham, Mass., with a $20,000 donation. In that case, Toys "R" Us spokeswoman Adrienne O’Hara told the Globe, the woman identified the layaway accounts with the help of the store's manager and closed them all.
In a separate instance, the company reported that someone went into a store in Woburn, Mass. last week and paid the layaway balances of several people waiting in line, at a total cost of more than $1,000.
"Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of excitement and a lot of acts of good will," O’Hara told the Globe. "It's heartwarming every time."
Toys "R" Us requires customers to pay at least 10 percent of the price of an order plus a $5 service fee when merchandise is first placed on layaway. Customers are typically given 90 days to pay off the order, but the Globe reported that the store imposed layaway deadlines this week for the holidays.
The company reported that 597 layaway orders were paid off through charitable actions in 2013.