‘Layaway Santa’ surprises families with $20,000 of Christmas cheer

In what some Florida families are calling a Christmas miracle, a generous donor picked up half of their layaway tabs, to the tune of $20,000.

A man came into The Villages Walmart in Central Florida on Saturday to purchase bicycles for Toys for Tots, but he decided to do much more. He asked to pay half of the balance on every layaway account of over $200 – making 80 families very happy, according to Orlando’s WKMG Local 6.

“I can’t believe [his credit cards] didn’t melt, he was running them so fast,” Walmart operations Assistant Manager Deb Davis told Local 6, adding that she hasn’t seen anything like it in 13 years with the company.

“We’ve had layaway Santas that will do a couple thousand here or a couple thousand there, but $20,000 was just an amazing amount,” she said.

After some digging, the station identified the man as local financial planner, Greg Parady.

“I came back here, and I saw him standing here with his credit card, and he was just swiping and swiping,”  said Parady’s business partner, Cindy Nazzaro. “He had heard a lady out in one of the aisles talking about how she needed to pay off her layaway, but she didn’t think she was going to be able to take care of all of it this year. So he just walked back here and started in. It’s crazy.”

Davis said the families’ reactions were “amazing.”

“Tears, surprise. There was one lady, after she cried, she had to sit down, because we thought she was going to faint,” Davis said. “It was a true Christmas story.”

Watch the Local 6 report:

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