Secret Santa pays off Hayward Kmart layaways


Some parents in East Bay just received a huge holiday gift. It all began with a call from Kmart in Hayward where the Hernandez Family had close to $700 worth of clothes on layaway.

"They told him that it was paid off, the layaway, and we only owed one cent. And I was like, 'What? You guys are confused, we have three weeks left' and all this other stuff and he said no, that Santa Claus paid for it," said Samantha Hernandez, a Secret Santa recipient.

A Secret Santa sent ABC7 proof of his good deed.

"At first he called and said that he was going to come in and he wanted to pay $10,000 on delinquent kids' layaways," said Darlene Beverly from Kmart. "And we didn't quite believe him at first and then he actually came in with $10,000 cash and he paid of everybody's layaways, everybody's layaways, that we delinquent and mainly kids and toys. That's what he wanted."

He cleared that list, but when you pay off a bill, the items disappear, so a small fee had to remain.

"We can't completely just wipe it out, we have to leave it at one penny. So when everybody comes to make their payment, it's just one penny, that's it," said Beverly.

So strange, it was hard to stay calm.

"I almost started crying. I was surprised like, 'Wow, for real? Because right now we have five kids, so right now this was like a blessing," said Hernandez.

It was a blessing that Tammie Captain of Union City shared in.

"I was really happy, I was really excited. I was coming tomorrow to pay anyway, but this is better," said Captain.

She has two daughters at home and now has some early wrapping to do. These shoppers expressed their gratitude to the Secret Santa.

"I would tell them, 'Thank you, so much for paying for the layaway. I really appreciate it,'" said Captain.

"Thank you. I can't believe they would do that. I didn't think there was people like that any more around here," said Hernandez.

The Secret Santa apparently had some leftover cash when he left the store, so he took $200 and stuck it in the kettle for the Salvation Army.

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