'Secret Santa' pays off more than $1,000 of store layaways

A "Secret Santa" surprised shoppers and made it easier to put gifts under the tree this year.

A "Secret Santa" surprised shoppers and made it easier to put gifts under the tree this year.

On Thursday the generosity of a stranger came to save the day for eight families.

"A Secret Santa came in and asked to speak to manager and requested layaways he could pay off," said Laymon Cummings, Kmart manager. "Over $1,000."

Christmas arrived a few days early for Tina Korhonen thanks to a Secret Santa at a St. Clair Shores Kmart.

"When we get up there they told us layaway had been cashed out," Korhonen said.

At first, the mother of two thought it was a mistake, but was told it had been "paid for."

Hoping to get an early start on the holiday shopping season, the eager mom started shopping in October for her children.

But a string of setbacks made buying everything at once difficult.

"We've been going through a little bit of a rough time," Korhonen said. "I got into a car accident last month.

"My husband had been laid off and just went back to work."

Tina says she is very thankful the Secret Santa paid her final payment of $76.53 and she said with the money saved she plans to do some good of her own.

"I told my husband we are helping a mom and son through Volunteers of America for Christmas," she said.

And now the generosity that started at this St. Clair Shores store will do even more good this holiday season.


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