NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBS4)- The holiday season brings out more kindness in strangers, and Santa Claus is getting some assistance as donors are helping out those in need.
One South Florida man who wants to make sure everyone is able to celebrate the holidays is paying off the balances of layaway accounts at a Walmart in North Miami Beach at 1425 NE 163rd Street.
At least 50 people tried to pay down their Christmas layaway debt at the Walmart and ran out of funds to finish. But that’s where RS Schmitt came in.
“We looked at how many were in default how many accounts were … so we put together a $1,000 and you know that represents 18 families that will be helped,” Schmitt said.
Schmitt is one of about 100 people at the South Beach Athletic Club that is paying it forward by pay off layaway tabs at Walmart.
“It’s exactly like paying it forward,” Schmitt said. “It’s a great thing to do… I hope everybody does that.”
Their goodwill came just in time too. The Christmas layaway deadline was this past Friday and customers who didn’t pick it up and paid it off would have had to pay a small fee and start all over again.
“I thought that was very awesome for someone to be so selfless and to put these families first,” Walmart manager Julie Burns said.
Burns got to break the good news to some of the families Saturday over the phone.
“You have a special secret Santa that is going to pay for your layaway,” Burns said.
On the other line was Sabrine Henry, who told CBS4’s Tiffani Helberg she was particularly grateful.
Another reciepient Equeena McDonald said the good deed helps her and her family for the holidays.
“I’m a single mom with two kids it will really help me because I didn’t have the money to get it off layaway,” McDonald said.
Now her two young sons will have the Christmas they deserve as Santa Claus arrives just in the knick of time.