The world may be engulfed in the shadow of all that is dark and gloomy these days, but there are still good people out there. People who are fighting back against the darkness, armored in Christmas spirit, brandishing weapons of kindness, love, and their wallets. Their mission? To spread a little Christmas magic, one paid bill at a time.
Call them Secret Santas, Kindness Elves, Christmas Angels, Anti-Scrooges, or The Grinches Whose Hearts “Grew 3 Sizes That Day” — these Good Samaritans are showing us that the true meaning of the season is still alive and well.
On Friday, November 24, at a Toys R Us store in Cherry Hill, N.J., a number of strangers were treated to an early visit from Santa Claus. A man, known only as “Charlie K,” decided to pay off 62 layaway orders, totalling an astounding $10,780. His generosity didn’t end there. He also enlisted shoppers to help him in purchasing $2,000 worth of toys for Marine Toys For Tots, a charity that provides toys to children in need throughout the United States.
What prompted this gift of giving? According to a quote obtained by CBS Philadelphia, Charlie K says, “I’m trying to bring some happiness to people, to the community that brought happiness to me and my family. I love this community and I am trying to provide back to it.”
Charlie K is not the only one busy making Christmas miracles happen. An unidentified woman also paid off a number of random layaway accounts at a Walmart in Sandusky, OH. One of the grateful recipients? 35-year-old Meme Johnson.
When she received an email from Walmart informing her that her layaway had been paid in full, she couldn’t believe it. This Christmas is particularly difficult for Johnson. Along with battling a painful chronic disease and struggling financially, her 52-year-old mother is also fighting for her life with stage four pancreatic cancer.
Johnson tells Fox 8 Cleveland, “She has stage four pancreatic cancer and it’s everywhere pretty much. I mean, it’s in her bones, and to see her laying in the bed and being afraid to die; we just hope my mom makes it to Christmas.”
I vividly recall the last Christmas I had with my mom before she passed away from breast cancer. More than anything, I just wanted it to be a pop of joy among the sorrow. For Meme Johnson, a stranger’s act of kindness provided that joy.
She contacted Fox 8 because she wanted to let her Secret Santa know just how much her random act of kindness meant to her. “I just want to thank her very much. I don’t know who you are, but God bless you and your family and I hope you have a very merry Christmas,” said Meme.
On December 3, another Secret Santa was discovered at a Toys R Us in Warwick, R.I. WPRI 12 reported that Joshua and Kyla Turbitt received news that the $100 worth of Christmas gifts that they had put on layaway in September for their two children, 5 year-old Zachary and 8-month old Taelyn, had been paid in full.
It couldn’t have come at a better time for the young family. Like so many others, they have been struggling.
“We’re going through hard times right now, you know, we’ve got family in the hospital, my work deducted some of my pay, I couldn’t make a local police department this year so this actually made our year for 2018 look pretty good,” Joshua stated.
He went on to say, “I wish we knew who it was so we can thank them, that’s honestly all I really care about, like someone going out of their way to do this for us, just honestly we’re blessed.”
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. But for so many, it can also be one of the most difficult. None of us knows what is happening in the strangers’ lives around us. The cranky cashier at the grocery store, forced to listen to the same Christmas music CD over and over again for every shift from now until December 25. The butthead driver that cuts you off on the freeway, who has actually just received devastating news. Your crotchety old neighbor who complains that your outdoor Christmas lights are keeping him awake at night, all alone for the holidays.
Imagine if we all decided to sprinkle just a portion of the Christmas cheer that these Secret Santas have bestowed on strangers. Maybe, just maybe, the light in the world could finally pierce the darkness, even if just for the season.