'Layaway Angel' Grants Christmas Wishes At Indy Kmart

Anonymous Woman Pays Layaway Balances, Hands Out Cash

A holiday phenomenon that began at a Michigan Kmart spread to an Indianapolis Kmart on Tuesday, surprising employees and one Indiana mother who had planned to put Christmas on hold for her children.

Store employees at an Indianapolis Super Kmart said a middle-aged woman walked into the store’s layaway department with a single purpose: to make the holiday better for as many people as she possibly could.

"She said that she had money and she wanted to make someone’s Christmas. It was like an angel dropped out of the sky,” said Edna Deppe, the store's assistant manager.

For customer Angie Torres, who had $200 worth of toys in layaway, the woman was an angel in disguise, 6News’ Chris Proffitt reported.

"I took out my credit card to pay my minimum balance. (The woman) said, ‘Don't pay that. I'm going to pay it for you,’" Torres said.

The anonymous woman paid off Torres’ balance, along with those of 50 other shocked layaway customers. Some customers had balances of nearly $800, store officials said.

Torres said she hadn’t planned on paying off her balance until after Christmas, but thanks to the woman, her four children will have their presents on Christmas Day.

"I want to say thank you so much. She did this for us. I can't believe it," Torres’ 8-year-old daughter, Noelia, said.

Store employees said the woman didn’t stop at the layaway counter. She walked through the store and handed out $50 bills and then went to a checkout lane and paid for more than $400 worth of toys for one unsuspecting and emotional customer.

The woman told the sobbing customer to pass along the kindness in the name of her late husband.

“I said, ‘What can we do for you?’ She said, ‘The only thing that you can do for me is to give back,’" one customer said.

Three hours and thousands of dollars later, the woman walked out of the store and drove away, store officials said.

“An angel dropped in our store last night. That's the only way to say it,” Deppe said.

Kmart managers said the woman told them she had recently done the same thing for customers at Target and Walmart stores in central Indiana.

Editor's note: A previous version of the story incorrectly described what happened at other stores in central Indiana. We apologize for any confusion.

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