EAST MARLBOROUGH—Someone made Christmas brighter for hundreds of people in the Kennett area after paying off more than $29,000 worth of layaways at the Wal-Mart in East Marlborough.
“There really are good people in the world,” said Andy Rumford of Kennett Square, who had merchandise on layaway. “A sizeable number of people were affected by one person’s kindness.”
Rumford said he was surprised when the cashier told him on Saturday his bill was paid in full by a stranger.
“I went to pick up items I had on layaway, I owed $150,” Rumford said. “Then the lady said the balance is zero. I told her she made a mistake and that I owe her money. She said someone come in last week and give a check to pay off all layaway items in the store.”
Rumford, whose daughter Kacie died of a drug overdose and has started a campaign to bring awareness to the opioid epidemic, said the good deed made his day.
“We don’t hear enough about the good news,” Rumford said. “Here is an opportunity for all of us to pay it forward. Something like this makes you want to reach out and do good for others.”
A Wal-Mart official said the person who paid off the layaways wants to remain anonymous.
"When customers quietly pay off others' layaway items, we're reminded how good people can be,” the Wal-Mart official said. “We're honored to be a small part of these random acts of kindness.”
Rumford posted his good fortune on social media, and his friends were heartened by the story.
“I would love to be able to pay it forward to that extent, but if we all do even a little, it’s still a blessing for someone,” said Sandy Ozalas.
“I'm so glad, you and your family do so much for others, it's nice to every once in a while receive someone else's blessing,” said Cheryl Marta. “God works through each of us. The Good Samaritan made Christmas brighter for so many.”
Layaways at the Walmart require begin in August and require a $10 payment or 10 percent, whichever is greater. In order for an item to qualify for layaway, the single item must cost $10 or more, and the total purchase must be $50 or more. Payments can be made at any time up until Christmas.