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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In Which My Faith In Humanity Is Restored A Little

It started in a Michigan Kmart.

A woman in her 30s walked up to the layaway counter and told the clerk she wanted to pay off a couple of accounts.

There had to be a catch, right? There's always a catch. People don't just make a selfless gesture that grand without wanting something, anything in return. 

There was a catch. Two, in fact. The orders had to include toys, and she had to remain anonymous. She paid the bills, she wrote "Happy Holidays" on the receipts... and then she walked out of the store. 
I remember as a kid (the youngest of five), tagging along with Big Mar every two weeks to the local Murphy's Mart to put $5 or 10 towards new sheets, clothes, Christmas presents. My Dad didn't make a lot of money back then. That extra $5 twice a month stretched an already tight budget even thinner. Layaway was the only way my parents could afford to keep up with our growth spurts. I know my Mother would have shed tears of gratitude had someone played Secret Santa with her account.

The beauty of this story is a young woman's singular random act of kindness has inspired others all around the country to similarly lighten the financial burden of needy families in their own communities.

So thank you, kind stranger for spreading the spirit of Secret Santa. Your beautiful heart brings me to tears, renews my hope, and restores my faith in humanity.